Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 137-144

Nipah virus encephalitis: A cause for concern for Indian neurologists?

Department of Neurology, Vivekananda Institute of Medical Sciences, Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
Ambar Chakravarty
59, Beadon Street, Kolkata - 700 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.27655

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The first and only recorded outbreak of Nipah virus (NV) encephalitis in India occurred in the winter of 2001, although the causative organism could only be identified 5 years down the line in 2006. The first ever-recorded outbreak of NV encephalitis occurred in the Malaysian peninsula in 1998-99; though between 2001 and 2005, at least four outbreaks occurred in our neighboring country of Bangladesh. The threat of further outbreaks of this dangerous disease looms large on the Indian subcontinent, given the natural reservoir of the definitive host, namely, fruit-eating bats of the genus Pteropus. This review would briefly highlight the epidemiology, clinical aspects and diagnosis of NV encephalitis to enlighten the neurological community of the country for early detection and implementation of preventive measures in the event of further outbreaks, especially those which are generally passed of as 'mystery diseases' in the lay press and even by governmental agencies.

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