Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Nipah Virus not an epidemic: Centre

Nipah Virus not an epidemic: Centre

The Kerala Health minister also said there was no need to be afraid of bats and their habitats should not to destroyed.

"Samples of dead bats have been sent for testing to NIV, Pune, to ascertain the reason behind their deaths".

Dead bats were found in a well at their home in Kozhikode district - the epicentre of the viral outbreak that has authorities on high alert.

This apart, in order to control the spread of Nipah Virus, the Government of India is taking several steps while efforts are focused on surveillance and spreading awareness for risk assessment and management of the disease. It has urged travelers to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts.

Almost 300 people were diagnosed with the disease, and more than 100 of them died, according to the CDC. Before you hit the panic button, we roped in Dr Tripti Gilada, consulting physician at Unison Medicare & Research Centre in Mumbai, which specialises in infectious diseases.

According to NDTV, there is a fear that two people in Karnataka may also be infected with the virus.

Nipah virus scare: No need to panic; adopt good hygiene practices
Since then, outbreaks have occurred nearly every year in Bangladesh, and twice before in the Indian state of West Bengal. Between 1998 and 2015, over 600 cases have been recorded in total, according to the WHO.

Eleven people have died in the outbreak, Rajeev Sadanandan, additional chief secretary for Kerala's Department of Health and Family Welfare, told CNN.

"Health department is doing everything possible to save the lives of the infected & prevent the advance of virus", his office said on Twitter. The Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratory at Manipal Hospital and the National Institute of Virology have been asked to meet the diagnostic challenges. "The situation is under control and the infection is totally localized", it said.

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. Pigs served as an intermediate host during this outbreak. It said that a detailed advisory, with preventive measures and common signs, would be issued soon.

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. According to World Health Organization, human infections range from asymptomatic infection, acute respiratory infection (mild, severe), and fatal encephalitis.

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. If not taken care of, these symptoms can even cause coma in a span of 24-48 hours. The incubation period ranges between 4 to 18 days.

Nipah virus infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis.

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