Signs and Symptoms
Infection with Nipah virus is associated with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). After exposure and an incubation period of 5 to 14 days,illness presents with 3-14 days of fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion. These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours. Some patients have a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections, and half of the patients showing severe neurological signs showed also pulmonary signs.
During the Nipah virus disease outbreak in 1998-99, 265 patients were infected with the virus. About 40% of those patients who entered hospitals with serious nervous disease died from the illness.
Long-term sequelae following Nipah virus infection have been noted, including persistent convulsions and personality changes.
Latent infections with subsequent reactivation of Nipah virus and death have also been reported months and even years after exposure.