Monday, 22 October, 2018

Himachal Pradesh on high alert after Nipah virus scare

Nipah virus deaths UAE asks citizens to avoid travelling to Kerala Nipah death toll in India hits 12 as CEPI funds vaccine efforts
Ben Pena | 27 May, 2018, 12:16

People are in a state of chaos as the "deadly" Nipah virus (NiV) is slowly gripping the nation.On Tuesday, minutes before succumbing to the infection, a 28-year-old nurse Lini had shared an emotional letter with her husband, expressing the pain of not being able to see him one last time.

"Hospital-acquired infections are a major path of human to human transmission", added Kumar, who heads the Manipal Centre for Virus Research that is testing virus samples.

The toll in the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala rose to 12 on Saturday with the death of a woman at the Government Medical College in Kozhikode.

The virus, which commonly affects animals such as bats, pigs, dogs, and horses, can spread to humans and cause serious illness among humans.

The local administration in the two districts has set up a taskforce with a designated control room and a nodal officer has been appointed to collect data to ensure preventive measures.

The outbreak of the virus infection, which is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well which was infested with bats.

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Another 40 people with Nipah symptoms, which can include high fever, vomiting and convulsions, are being treated in area hospitals.

"The central team held meetings with the district collectors and the medical and paramedical staff of the hospitals today to review the condition of the admitted patients and to consider further course of action to be taken to prevent the disease from spreading", said a statement issued by Union health ministry. The officials mentioned as of now that the virus Nipah doesn't come from the bats.

The outbreak of the virus in Kerala has led to doctors trying to develop a vaccine or a mode of treatment.

Nipah virus can be transmitted by infected pigs, or by fruit bats, through their secretions of saliva, urine or faeces. However, the incubation period is between 4 and 14 days from contracting the disease to the onset of symptoms. Health Services Director B.N. Chouhan however said there was no reason to worry as the virus is generally limited to a place. "They should also avoid close contacts with people around unless it is ruled out that they are not infected with the virus". The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care. "People have been advised to keep distance from bats and pigs".

Time reports that during its first outbreak in Malaysia almost 300 farmers became infected and more than 100 died.

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