This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted a number of Nipah virus virions that had been isolated from a patient's cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimen.
Nipah virus is a member of the family Paramyxoviridae, and is related, but not identical to Hendra virus. Nipah virus was initially isolated in 1999 upon examining samples from an outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness among adult men in Malaysia and Singapore.
Hendra virus, formerly called equine morbillivirus, is also a member of the family Paramyxoviridae. The virus was first isolated in 1994 from specimens obtained during an outbreak of respiratory and neurologic disease in horses and humans in Hendra, a suburb of Brisbane, Australia.
Only three human cases of Hendra virus disease have been recognized. Two of the three individuals known to be infected had a respiratory illness with severe flu-like signs and symptoms. Infection with Nipah virus was associated with an encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) characterized by fever and drowsiness and more serious central nervous system disease, such as coma, seizures, and inability to maintain breathing.
Illness with Nipah virus begins with 3-14 days of fever and headache. This is followed by drowsiness and disorientation characterized by mental confusion. These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours. Some patients have had a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections.
Content Credit: C. S. Goldsmith, P. E. Rollin, CDC
Photo Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith, CDC