Nipah Virus (NiV)
Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus, meaning that it can spread between animals and people. Fruit bats, also called flying foxes, are the animal reservoir for NiV in nature. Nipah virus is also known to cause illness in pigs and people. Infection with NiV is associated with encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and can cause mild to severe illness and even death. Outbreaks occur almost annually in parts of Asia, primarily Bangladesh and India.
Nipah virus infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to sick pigs and bats in areas where the virus is present, and not drinking raw date palm sap which can be contaminated by an infected bat. During an outbreak, standard infection control practices can help prevent person-to-person spread in hospital settings.
Electron micrographic image of Nipah virus