Bali Temple
Bali is known for his stunning architecture and pristine beaches Wikimedia Commons

Holidaymakers planning a trip to Bali have received a warning over the possible threat from the Nipah virus.

Besides India, the outbreak of the Nipah virus has spread across other Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia and Singapore. In the wake of the outbreak, Bali has increased health surveillance to be prepared to deal with the deadly virus.

All the passengers arriving at Bali's I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport will be screened as a part of the increased health protocols in the paradise island.

I Nyoman Gede Anom, head of the Bali Provincial Health Department announced the latest rule in a recent interview. He said that his organisation is taking steps with the Port Health Department to thoroughly screen all visitors to Bali, especially those coming from countries that have had cases of Nipah virus in the past.

"At the airport, temperature detection devices are in place. If a tourist is found to have a body temperature above normal, it will prompt further inquiry," Anom stated.

Anom urged people travelling from countries where the Nipah virus is endemic to visit a hospital immediately for a proper examination. He also asked people to be alert and if they have constant fever and acute respiratory infection (ARI). They must see a doctor and not neglect it. He went on to add that his department has "assembled a team of neurologists, surgeons, and other specialists, as this virus targets the brain".

The head of the Bali Provincial Health Department also stressed the fact that the Nipah virus has not been detected in Indonesia yet and everything is being done to prevent its introduction, especially in Bali. "Nevertheless, we must maintain vigilance due to the incubation period, which may mean a lack of fever upon arrival at the airport," he added.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the incubation period for Nipah Virus can vary from 4 to 14 days, while in some rarer cases, the incubation period of 45 days has been documented.

In some cases, the Nipah Virus is symptomatic or shows symptoms very similar to that of the flu. The initial symptoms usually present as fever, headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, and/or a sore throat.

As the virus does more damage, symptoms such as dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and other neurological signs indicate acute encephalitis. Even difficulty breathing and acute respiratory infection are other symptoms of the Nipah Virus.

Nipah Virus can be tested using an RT-PCR Test and ELISA testing. As of now, there is neither a vaccine nor any specific drugs for the Nipah virus.

Nipah virus is believed to be transmissible among human beings in addition to zoonotic transmission from animals such as bats and pigs. A person can contract the virus even by contact with biological fluids such as urine and saliva, specimens, or consumption of tainted food.