The rare but deadly Nipah virus has recently emerged in southern Indian State of Kerala, killing at least 12 people including a nurse and causing more than 25 others to be hospitalized.
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus, according to World Health Organisation.
NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998.
NiV is on the WHO’s priority list of emerging diseases that could cause a global pandemic, alongside Zika and Ebola.
NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis.
Those infected suffer a quick onset of symptoms, including fever, vomiting, disorientation, mental confusion, encephalitis and — in up to 70 percent of cases, depending on the strain — ultimately death.
NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals.
There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care only.
How is the NiV spread?
Several species of fruit bats that live throughout Asia carry Nipah. During outbreaks in Bangladesh from 2001 to 2007 — most people contracted the virus by drinking raw date palm sap that virus-carrying fruit bats had also sipped and contaminated.
Bats can also transmit NiV to pigs and other livestock, which can then pass the infection onto humans. And humans can spread the virus through saliva and possibly other bodily fluids.
NiV and its viral cousin Hendra latch onto a proteins called ephrin-B2 and ephrin-B3 on the surface of nerve cells and the endothelial cells lining blood and lymph vessels, researchers have found. NiV can also invade lung and kidney cells.
Most patients who die succumb to an inflammation of blood vessels and a swelling of the brain that occurs in the later stages of the disease.Follow @gorkhapost
Sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time : Study
A new study has showed that sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time, challenging previous claims that weekday mornings — especially Mondays — were the danger zones.
Previously heart experts have long believed that weekday mornings were the danger zones for unexpected deaths from sudden cardiac arrests.
“While there are likely several reasons to explain why more cardiac arrests happen outside of previously identified peak times, stress is likely a major factor,” said Sumeet Chugh, a Professor of medicine from the Smidt Heart Institute in the US.
“We now live in a fast-paced, ‘always on’ era that causes increased psycho-social stress and possibly an increase in the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.
Almost 17 million cardiac deaths occur annually worldwide while the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one per cent.
For the study, published in the journal Heart Rhythm, Chugh’s team analysed data on 1,535 from the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study between 2004 to 2014, among which only 13.9 per cent died in the early morning hours, the findings revealed.
All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.
“Because sudden cardiac arrest is usually fatal, we have to prevent it before it strikes,” Chugh said. “Our next steps are to conclusively determine the underlying reasons behind this shift, then identify public health implications as a result,” he added.
Apart from stress, other contributing factors may be a shift in how high-risk patients are being treated, as well as inadequacies in how past studies have measured time of death caused by sudden cardiac arrest.Follow @gorkhapost