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Possible antibodies against Nipah virus detected in bats from Mahabaleshwar cave

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Possible antibodies against Nipah virus detected in bats from Mahabaleshwar cave:


Context:

A survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology has picked up samples with the possible presence of antibodies against the Nipah virus in some bat species from a cave in Mahabaleshwar, a popular hill station in Maharashtra.

  • The survey was aimed at studying the prevalence of the Nipah virus (NiV) one of the top-10 global priority list pathogens identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) – in bats of India.

Nipah Virus outbreaks in India:

  1. India has experienced four NiV outbreaks, with the case fatality rate between 65 percent and 100 percent.
  2. The most recent outbreak started in Kerala in 2018.
  3. Southern Asian countries and some Indian states have been identified as potential hotspots for the disease.

What’s the Concern now?

Nipah is considered dangerous as there is no medicine or vaccines and the death rate among those affected is high. While the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) among COVID-19 affected patients is between 1-2%, that for Nipah infections is in the range of 65-100%.

About the Nipah virus:

  1. It is a zoonotic virus, meaning that it can spread between animals and people.
  2. The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is an RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus, and is closely related to Hendra virus.
  3. Fruit bats, also called flying foxes, are the animal reservoir for NiV in nature.
  4. Symptoms: Infection with NiV is associated with encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and can cause mild to severe illness and even death.

 

Insta Curious: 

  1. Do you know WHO’s first ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” ? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Nipah.
  2. Causes.
  3. Symptoms.
  4. Treatment and prevention.
  5. What are zoonotic diseases?

Sources: Indian Express.