Infection with Nipah virus is 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.
The natural reservoir for Hendra virus is thought to be flying foxes (bats of the genus Pteropus) found in Australia. The natural reservoir for Nipah virus is still under investigation, but preliminary data suggest that bats of the genus Pteropus are also the reservoirs for Nipah virus in Malaysia.