Health Care

18 dead bats in HPs Nahan causes Nipah virus scare

18 dead bats in HPs Nahan causes Nipah virus scare

In the wake of the recent outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus in Kerala, Animal Husbandry Commissioner of Maharashtra, Kantilal Umap, has issued instructions to carry out checks in all the pig farms in the state.

With death toll due to Nipah virus (NiV) up to 10, the Kerala government has issued an advise against travelling to four northern districts of Thiruvananthapuram: 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.

This comes even as the authorities said that the situation was under control.

Additional Director of Health Services (ADHS) K J Reena said the department has already directed the District Medical Officers to declare an alert and set up an isolation wards in each district.

Also, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is strictly monitoring the spate and taking steps to put off its further spread.

The main symptom of Nipah virus infection in humans is encephalitis, which means inflammation of the brain. The virus is spread after the fruit bat throw consumed fruits which are later eaten by animals or human.

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The Kerala Health minister also said there was no need to be afraid of bats and their habitats should not to destroyed. The awareness is being done to prevent the disease from spreading further, especially to those at high risk.

"In the Bangladesh and India outbreaks, consumption of fruits or fruit products (e.g. raw date palm juice) contaminated with urine or saliva from infected fruit bats was the most likely source of infection", the World Health Organization explains.

But this is not the first outbreak of Nipah virus in India. "The students were informed of the disease, it's preventive measures, so we will exercise all precautions in case of an outbreak and inform as many people as possible".

Nipah was first identified in 1998 after pig farmers were infected in the village of Kampung Sungai Nipah, in Malaysia.

Health experts say that there is no vaccine yet for the virus, which causes fever and breathlessness in affected patients as initial symptoms, and only intensive care can help an infected patient recover.

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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