Nipah virus


Nipah virus infection is a viral infection caused by the Nipah virus. Symptoms from infection vary from none to fever, cough, headache, shortness of breath, and confusion. This may worsen into a coma over a day or two. Complications can include inflammation of the brain and seizures following recovery.

The Nipah virus is a type of RNA virus in the genus Henipavirus. It can both spread between people and from other animals to people. Spread typically requires direct contact with an infected source. The virus normally circulates among specific types of fruit bats. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and confirmed by laboratory testing.

Management involves supportive care. As of 2018 there is no vaccine or specific treatment. Prevention is by avoiding exposure to bats and sick pigs and not drinking raw date palm sap. As of May 2018 about 700 human cases of Nipah virus are estimated to have occurred and 50 to 75 percent of those who were infected died. In May 2018, an outbreak of the disease resulted in at least 17 deaths in the Indian state of Kerala.

The disease was first identified in 1998 during an outbreak in Malaysia while the virus was isolated in 1999. It is named after a village in Malaysia, Sungai Nipah. Pigs may also be infected and millions were killed by Malaysian authorities in 1999 to stop the spread of disease.


Nipah is a new virus — a disease deadlier than Ebola and that inspired the 2011 movie Contagion. Nipah virus emerged from fruit bats in Malaysia and spread among pigs. Animals were culled, and the outbreak was contained. But the World Health Organization considers Nipah a virus that could go pandemic.

Broader Problems:
Emerging viral diseases
Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Biosciences Bacteriology
Date of last update
06.02.2018 – 01:41 CET