Hyderabad to ensure hospitals well equipped to deal with Nipah virus

26 May, 2018, 03:43 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • WHO warns against outbreak of Nipah virus

Over 15 bats were found dead in Nahan town in Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur District, triggering fears that it could have been due to the deadly Nipah Virus, which has killed around 12 people in Kerala.

With 10 deaths due to the deadly Nipah virus being reported so far from northern Kerala, the state government today issued an advisory, asking travellers to avoid visiting the four districts of Kozhikode, Malappuram, Waynad and Kannur.

On Tuesday, two persons suspected to be infected with Nipah virus were admitted to a hospital in Karnataka's Mangalore. "The situation remains under control", said the department in the advisory as ANI reported.

Umap said orders have been issued across the state to keep a sharp watch for any symptoms of the virus in the animals.

Also, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is strictly monitoring the spate and taking steps to put off its further spread. Authorities have sealed the well and sent the bat blood samples for medical tests.

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans.

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Most of the deaths reported are from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts from where 11 deaths have now been reported and 18 are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, including one in Wayanad. Fruit bats are the natural host of the virus belonging to Pteropodidae family.

"It (outbreak of Nipah virus) is a localised occurrence and there is no need to panic", the minister said. But the ministry did not specify whether Nipah virus was confirmed to be the cause in all cases.

Though the state has procured "ribavirin" to treat the infected patients, it is yet to take a final call on whether to proceed with the same.

Nipah was first identified in 1998 after pig farmers were infected in the village of Kampung Sungai Nipah, in Malaysia. Human-to-human transmission has also been documented, including in a hospital setting in India, the World Health Organization says. Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care.

NiV infection in humans has a range of effects, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory distress syndrome and fatal encephalitis.

Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since 1998 and has a mortality rate of almost 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

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