Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2019;8(1):1-8. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2018.01130)

Nipah virus disease: A rare and intractable disease.

Banerjee S, Gupta N, Kodan P, Mittal A, Ray Y, Nischal N, Soneja M, Biswas A, Wig N


Nipah virus, an enveloped ribonucleic acid virus, has been a major cause of encephalitis out-breaks with high mortality, primarily in the Indo-Bangladesh regions. Except for the first outbreak in Malaysia-Singapore, which was related to contact with pigs and the outbreak in Philippines associated with horse slaughter, most other outbreaks have affected the Indo- Bangladesh regions. The Indo-Bangladesh outbreaks were associated with consumption of raw date palm sap contaminated by fruit bats and had a very high secondary attack rate. The patient usually presents with fever, encephalitis and/or respiratory involvement with or without thrombocytopenia, leukopenia and transaminitis. Diagnosis can be confirmed by isolation and nucleic acid amplification in the acute phase or antibody detection during the convalescent phase. Treatment is mostly limited to supportive care and syndromic management of acute encephalitis syndrome. Ribavirin, m102.4 monoclonal antibody and favipiravir are the only anti-virals with some activity against Nipah virus. Standard precautions, hand hygiene and personal protective equipments are the cornerstone of comprehensive infection prevention and control strategy. With the recent outbreaks affecting newer geographical areas, there is a need for physicians to be aware of this disease and keep abreast of its current detection and management strategies.

KEYWORDS: Henipavirus, encephalitis, India, Bangladesh

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