No trace of Nipah virus in Himachal clarifies officer

27 May, 2018, 15:54 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • Kerala Travel Warning Issued In UAE Over Nipah Virus

Dr Mandal added no anti-virus has so far been developed to treat Nipah patients.

The most recent viral outbreak that has everyone on edge is caused by Nipah virus, labelled zoonotic (transmitted to humans through animals).

First identified among pig farmers in Malaysia, the disease also surfaced in Siliguri, West Bengal, in 2001 and again in 2007. He said people should avoid visiting affected areas.

'Reports indicate that the Nipah cases originated in, and are now contained in the area around Kozhikode, a northern district of Kerala.

The Nipah virus is spread through contact with the saliva, urine, or excreta of fruit bats, which are its natural hosts.

The medical team is now looking into other possible reasons behind the outbreak following the report findings. In 1998-99 infection episode, about 40 per cent of those patients who entered hospitals with serious nervous disease died from the illness.

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"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.

The other mode of transmission is human to human, through body secretions and respiratory secretions. The state health authorities without taking any chances have sent their samples to Pune for investigation.

The disease rapidly progresses with deterioration in consciousness leading in coma within five to seven days.

"The progression is very severe. We have been asked by the Centre not to put any restriction on people visiting Kerela", said Umesh Phangcho, state nodal officer, vector-borne disease control programme, Assam. Government of India has shown interest in passive immunisation using a human monoclonal antibody targeting the Nipah G glycoprotein. It is not a proven treatment, but it is approved because of a few studies that have proved the anti-viral's benefits.

Ensure that containers for sharps objects are placed as close as possible to the immediate area where the objects are being used (point of use') to limit the distance between use and disposal, and ensure the containers remain upright at all times, the advisory said.

Himachal Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary B.K. Agarwal has advised people not to panic about the Nipah virus and said that all medical colleges in the state are prepared to deal with the situation, if it occurs. There is no need to panic. 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".

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