The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 1 (Practice Usual Precautions) travel notice for an outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala, India.
Nipah virus is a henipavirus spread through contact with infected animals (fruit bats or pigs), as well as food and materials contaminated with their saliva or urine. Nipah virus can also be spread from person-to-person through bodily fluids (respiratory droplets, blood, urine, or saliva).
Symptoms range from mild to severe and typically appear in 4-14 days following exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, vomiting, drowsiness and confusion. In severe cases, infection can lead to the swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and potentially death.
Currently there are no known treatments available for Nipah virus infection.
Nipah virus infection leads to death in 40-75% of cases.
Person-to-person transmission, albeit limited, has occurred during this outbreak, including in a healthcare setting.
Travelers to this area should:
- Avoid eating or drinking products that could be contaminated by bats, such as raw date palm sap, raw fruit, or fruit that is found on the ground.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid contact with infected people who have symptoms such as fever, headache, cough and confusion, as well as their blood and other body fluids.
- Avoid contact with infected animals, such as bats or pigs.
Travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, vomiting, drowsiness, or confusion during or after travel (up to 14 days). Travelers should call ahead before going to a healthcare facility and tell them about having been in an area with Nipah virus.