Nipah outbreak: toll touches to 13 in Kerala

28 May, 2018, 21:29 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • Nipah death toll in India hits 12 as CEPI funds vaccine efforts

The vaccine is based on Nipah and Hendra virus technology that got its start more than 15 years ago by scientists at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and has already done through multiple preclinical trials. In Kerala, bat has been identified as a carrier of the virus.

The union health ministry has said the latest outbreak should remain localised, although the government has urged people to take precautions and issued advise on preventative measures.

Nipah virus which has claimed at least almost a dozen lives in Kerala did not spread through bats, a report has said. Both the patients have been isolated and their blood, swab samples sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV)-Pune.

Nipah virus cases were previously reported from West Bengal's Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia district in 2007. It states that "eating or drinking fruit or fruit products (such as raw date palm juice) contaminated with urine/saliva from infected fruit bats is a likely source of infection".

The virus, spread through contact with bodily fluids, has a mortality rate of about 70 percent.

A clutch of dead bats discovered on the roof of a school in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh triggered a brief scare, but there are no suspected human infections, said health official Sanjay Sharma. However, the lab officials are still in the process to conduct more tests to find the main cause.

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The examples sent to Bhopal lab incorporated those taken from bats found in the place of the Kerala family, which is accepted to be the epicenter of the sickness. Their sales have gone down as people are avoiding buying fruits fearing they may be infected.

One more death was reported in Kerala's Calicut due to Nipah Virus on Sunday. It said that Nipah symptoms are not specific and include flu-like illness and hence can be confused with any respiratory illness. The treatment for human cases is supportive and management treatment along with intensive supportive care. The virus kills up to 75 percent of those infected.

According to Chouhan, Nipah virus spreads to humans after direct contact with infected bats or pigs.

"So people who come in close contact of the patients are usually the ones who acquire the disease".

Nodal officers in all medical colleges and General Hospitals have been appointed and a Red Cross team has been placed at the Railway Station to check trains.

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