Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Nipah virus toll in Indian state rises to 11

Nipah Virus That Killed 12 In Kerala May Not Be Linked To Bats 10 Points Nipah virus has claimed 12 lives in Kerala 20 people are being treated for the infection
Steve Townsend | 26 May, 2018, 01:27

Panaji: The Goa government has said that though there is no case of Nipah virus reported in the state so far, it would ask doctors to stay vigilant.

On Tuesday, Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja said no new cases had been detected in 24 hours. Blood, urine, and throat swab of patients suspected to have contracted Nipah virus infection would be collected at the District Hospital and the General Hospital and sent to the Virology Institute at Manipal for testing. "Without laboratory reports it can not be said that these bats have been killed by Nipah virus", Mr Choubey said, adding that he has already spoken to the Himachal Pradesh administration over the matter.

Bats shed the virus in their excrement and secretions, but they are symptomless carriers.

The administration in Nahan sub-division of Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh has geared up to curb spread of the virus, and a special meeting of officials from different departments were held.

"Nipah virus is an RNA virus that is part of the Paramyxovidae family that was first identified as a zoonotic pathogen after an outbreak involving severe respiratory illness in pigs and encephalitic disease in humans in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999", according to the WHO's website.

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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.

According to the World Health Organization website, NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998, when pigs were the intermediate hosts. In the year 2004, the same virus arrived in Bangladesh through infected fruit bats.

Moosa's sons Muhammed Salih and Muhammed Sabith, and his brother Moideen's wife Mariam were the first victims of the Nipah virus outbreak in the state. The symptoms are nearly identical to influenza, including fever and muscle ache and in some cases patients have brain inflammation as well.

"More than a third of patients in previous outbreaks have died".

The incubation period (interval from infection to the onset of symptoms) is believed to range between from 4-14 days. The primary treatment is intensive supportive care. "We told them to avoid physical contact in case of an outbreak, as this is a communicative disease", he added. Fruit bats are the natural host of the virus belonging to Pteropodidae family.

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