India’s health officials are racing against the clock to control a viral epidemic that has taken the life of a 12-year-old child and is deadlier than the Nipah virus, which is classified as COVID-19.

According to CBS News, the child was brought to a hospital in the southern Kerala state last week with a high-grade fever and what seemed to be probable brain inflammation.

What Exactly Is The Nipah Virus & Why Is It So Much More Deadly Than The COVID Virus?

He was identified with both the Nipah virus after blood tests were performed, and he died on Sunday.

What Exactly Is The Nipah Virus & Why Is It So Much More Deadly Than The COVID Virus?

According to CBS, officials are utilizing contact tracing, quarantine, and hospitalization on the 188 individuals who have been in touch with the adolescent in order to avoid a widespread epidemic. The reemergence of the Nipah virus is compounding a problem in a country that is already dealing with the consequences of COVID-19, including over 30,000 new COVID cases recorded on Monday, which is compounding the issue.

What is the Nipah virus, and how does it spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Nipah virus was originally identified in Singapore and Malaysia in 1999 when a number of pigs and humans got ill.

So far, the only outbreaks that have been documented have occurred in Asia. It is classed as a zoonotic virus since it transmits from animals to humans in the first instance. It may also be spread between individuals via contaminated food or through direct contact. 

The Nipah virus is not linked to COVID-19, although it may have originated from the same source bats as COVID-19. Fruit bats, which are sometimes known as flying foxes due to their enormous size, are the virus’s primary host. In his opinion, pigs are very vulnerable to the virus and may get infected if they come into touch with fruit material that bats have been eating.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other domestic animals such as horses, goats, sheep, cats, and dogs may get infected. It is also possible for unknowing people to come into touch with tainted fruit and get sick. “There’s definitely an underestimation of the number of individuals who have been infected with the virus since they aren’t adequately diagnosed,” Lednicky said. “

What are the indications and symptoms of this condition?

According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms of the Nipah virus range from asymptomatic to acute respiratory illness and, at its worst, encephalitis, which is swelling with active tissue in the brain that may be deadly according to the virus.

People who are infected may suffer symptoms such as sore throat, fever, headaches, and muscular problems. Encephalitis is characterized by symptoms such as dizziness and altered awareness that develop as the illness develops.

The onset of symptoms may occur anywhere between 4 and 14 days after contact, and there is presently no vaccination or treatment available for the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, 40 percent to 75 percent of Nipah infections are deadly, compared to a COVID-19 mortality rate of about 2 percent. Should individuals in the United States be concerned? According to Lednicky, individuals in the United States do not need to be concerned about the Nipah virus since it has been confined to Asia areas where fruit bats are found.