Nipah virus, an emerging zoonotic disease causing fatal encephalitis
Click for External Resource*
Click to read full article*
*The link above may share a zip file (.zip) hosted on repository.netecweb.org. Zip files will download automatically.
Nipah virus is an acute febrile illness that can cause fatal encephalitis. It is an emerging zoonotic paramyxovirus endemic to south-east Asia and the western Pacific, and can be transmitted by its primary reservoir of fruit bats, through intermediate animal vectors and by human-to-human spread. Outbreaks of Nipah virus encephalitis have occurred in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, India and Bangladesh, with the most recent outbreak occurring in Kerala, India in late 2021. Extremely high case fatality rates have been reported from these outbreaks, and to date no vaccines or therapeutic management options are available. Combining this with its propensity to present non-specifically, Nipah virus encephalitis presents a challenging diagnosis that should not be missed in patients returning from endemic regions. Raising awareness of the epidemiology, clinical presentation and risk factors of contracting Nipah virus is vital to recognise and manage potential outbreaks of this disease in the UK.