New Delhi| Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The state of Kerala is fighting two deadly viruses. With COVID-19 cases rising and a recent outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala, the state is suffering. Nipah virus is a disease that gets transmitted from animals to humans and in this case, the virus is transmitted from fruit bats. However, both coronavirus and Nipah virus may appear similar but they are much different from each other.

How is the Nipah virus different from COVID-19?

Nipah virus is a zoonotic infection but COVID's origin is yet to be known

- The Nipah virus is established as a zoonotic infection, an infection that is transmitted from animals to humans or vice-versa. The virus was first identified in the year 1999. The infection was found in a village in Malaysia called Sungai Nipah and is named after it. There can be various hosts for this infection such as a pig, fruit bat, dogs and cats, and horses.

-Meanwhile, the origins of SARS COV-2 are not known to humankind till now. The first case of this virus was diagnosed in Wuhan, China in the year 2019. Its origin is still a mystery and there is a debate that is still on for the virus to be a man-made disease.

Nipah virus is incurable and so is COVID

- The viruses do not have antidotes for their treatment. As per the Centre for Disease Control, "Currently, there are no licensed treatments available for Nipah virus (NiV) infection. Treatment is limited to supportive care, including rest, hydration, and treatment of symptoms as they occur."India however, is exploring ways and means to use monoclonal antibodies for the purpose of treatment.

- For the coronavirus, in the year 2020, the Food and Drug Administration had approved an antiviral drug called Remdesivir for treatment of the virus. But the drug is repurposed and till now there is no particular drug that has got the license for treating the virus.

Nipah virus is more lethal than COVID but less infectious.

-As per the assessment of the Global Virus Network, the estimated R naught of the Nipah virus is 0.43. The R naught is a term that quantifies the average number of new infections that one infected individual can generate. The fatality rate of the same virus is 45 % to 70 % based on the recent assessments of the outbreak in Kerala.

- COVID-19 has an R naught that fluctuates and sometimes it crosses the mark of 1 percent, which proves its high transmissibility. However, the virus will have a mild effect on the people and according to data mortality rate of COVID is below 1 percent.

Vaccine for both viruses?

- Nipah virus, currently have no drugs and vaccines that target the infection.
- While, after the spread of the COVID-19 virus there are various vaccines that are made available in the market to target the infection.

Global Threat

- Nipah virus has been found in Malaysia, Singapore, and India while its effect can also be seen in countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, and Madagascar.
- Compared to the Nihah virus, the COVID-19 is found in various countries and has targeted people across 221 countries till now. The infection is marked as Global Pandemic by the WHO.

Symptoms of Nipah virus consist while COVID symptoms consist?

- Coronavirus has various symptoms such as fever, dry cough, pains and there are some newer symptoms such as hearing loss, severe headaches, and gastrointestinal sufferings.
- While Nipah virus infects humans and causes a range of clinical symptoms from asymptomatic infection to severe respiratory infection. People infected with the virus can develop fever, headaches, muscle pain that can be followed by dizziness and drowsiness.

Posted By: Ashita Singh