Health Care

Understanding Nipah virus & public health effect

Understanding Nipah virus & public health effect

The woman travelled to the city from Kasargod in Kerala and had been in contact with patients who have since tested positive for the virus, health department researcher Mohammed Sharif told Scroll.in.

India's national Health Minister, J. P. Nadda, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that he had instructed officials, "to leave no stone unturned in terms of proactively countering the Nipah virus threat".

According to the World Health Organization, the fruit bat is the natural host of the virus and often do not display any symptoms.

The first fatal cases in Kerala were reported on Saturday from a family in Kozhikode, as two brothers in their late 20s and their 50-year-old aunt died from the virus.

"He was on ventilator support for a week and died today morning", a Kerala health official said.

A rare, brain-damaging virus has killed at least 10 people in southern India, where medical crews are scrambling to manage the spread of the deadly disease - and to minimize panic. Some common signs and symptoms are headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and mental issues such as confusion. With another death in Kerala on Saturday, the total number of deaths due to Nipah virus has reached 13.

Fear of the disease has swept Kerala, even as officials insist the situation is under control.

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Nipa Virus aka NiV was first identified in Malaysia in 1988. Earlier, cases of Nipah virus were reported from West Bengal's Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia district in 2007 and around 47 deaths were reported.

Ms Lini Puthussery had been treating a family of three who had been diagnosed with the virus, spending an entire night taking care of them.

Today the death toll of the virus - which has no vaccine - rose to 11, with nearly 100 people being treated as potential cases. Most human cases are dealt with through supportive care.

Meanwhile, the district health department has already prepared a treatment protocol for the disease which will be finalised after discussing with experts teams from NCDC and AIMMS.

"Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe".

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

MPs, MLAs, other representatives of people and leaders of various political parties would attend the meeting, Health minister K K Shylaja today said.


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