Nipah Virus Infection – Zoonosis Among Wild Animals, Domestic Animals and Humans
Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases
1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan
Nipah virus (NiV) infection – a zoonosis emerging in the 1990s – causes acute encephalitis symptoms in humans and respiratory disease in swine. NiV outbreaks have been reported in the Malay Peninsula, Bangladesh and India. In Malay Peninsula, NiV was transmitted by the fruit bat, the natural host, through swine to humans, creating a threat in both public health and animal health. In Bangladesh, NiV has been transmitted directly from fruit bats to humans and, in some cases, from humans to humans. Epidemiological conditions differ in the two regions, due in part to societal background. To prevent zoonoses – infectious diseases transmitted from a nonhuman animal to a human – such as NiV infection, measures must be taken covering two different aspects; first, against infection originating in wild animals and, second, against infection derived from domestic animals. In wild hosts, chances for the pathogen to move from hosts to humans must be minimized. With domestic animal sources, public health and animal health specialists must strengthen surveillance and detection of suspicious cases, implement common procedures for swift diagnosis, and exchange information on how to deal with outbreaks effectively.
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