Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

As Nipah virus spread is suspected, government to compensate victims

Map of India locating Kazhikod site of a deadly Nipah outbreak Map of India locating Kazhikod site of a deadly Nipah outbreak
Ben Pena | 26 May, 2018, 01:27

It reads: "Due to the outbreak of the rare Nipah virus in fruit bats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates in Kerala and South India advises its citizens to take precautionary measures and follow instructions issued by the concerned Indian authorities regarding their safety".

The main symptom of Nipah virus infection in humans is encephalitis, which means inflammation of the brain.

State National Health Mission Director Keshvendra Kumar, who reviewed the situation in the district, said "ribavirin" - a medicine that has shown to be effective against Nipah virus - has been procured by Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd.

Historically, it was first identified in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in the year 1998.

This medicine is the only one which could control the Nipah virus to some extent.

According to the World Health Organization website, NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998, when pigs were the intermediate hosts.

Eating fruits that have been partially eaten by infected bats or the cooked meat of infected animals can also lead to people developing the virus. Many have left their homes and have proceeded to kin's residences at distant locations as the Nipah fever have already claimed 11 lives in Kozhikode and adjoining Malappuram district. Intermediate hosts of this instance were found to be pigs.

There is no vaccine and thereby supportive care is the only way.

Cheapest gas prices in the Triangle
Travelers hitting the roads for Memorial Day weekend can expect to spend twice as long in the vehicle as usual, AAA says. Glenn Wyatt said he'll be staying close to home over Memorial Day weekend because of high gas prices and heavy traffic.

The virus can also affect people's respiratory systems as they may suffer from a cough or have difficulty breathing.

Dr Sarita told reporters that the condition of the three patients who are infected with Nipah virus is stable.

The health department also advised people to avoid consuming fruits that are half-eaten by bats or birds.

The incubation period (interval from infection to the onset of symptoms) is believed to range between from 4-14 days.

"The initial death due to the fatal virus was reported from a house in the Perambra area of the Kozhikode district". Human to human contact as well as animal to human contacts have been documented.

Bats shed the virus in their excrement and secretions, but they are symptomless carriers.

There is now no vaccine or treatment to tackle Nipah, which has a mortality rate of around 70 percent.

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