June 21, 2018

Nipah: Two suspected cases in Hyd

28 May 2018, 06:36 | Franklin Nunez

Nipah death toll in India hits 12 as CEPI funds vaccine efforts

Samples of Fruit Eating Bats to Be Tested for Nipah Virus

Presiding over a meeting, chief secretary DB Gupta said that Nipah virus has marked its impact in the northern districts of Kerala including Mallapuram and Kozhikode and hence people should avoid travelling in these places. So far, investigations lead officials to believe that the outbreak has not yet spread to other states, as they linked the initial deaths to a specific well that has been colonized by bats.

The blood and serum samples of 21 bats tested at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal returned negative results for the virus, officials had said.

The organisation said that the preparedness level should be enhanced due to the population and goods movements between the countries and India where a current outbreak has claimed 10 lives while at least 40 others have been put in quarantine.

Two people who are suspected to be suffering from Nipah virus infection have been admitted to Fever Hospital in Hyderabad.

To prevent the spread of the virus, alerts were sounded in Bihar, Sikkim, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. This was the first case of Nipah scare reported in city.

A Union Health Ministry advisory has said that Nipah virus, which commonly affects animals such as bats, pigs, dogs, and horses, can spread to humans, causing serious illness.

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175 people are under observation on suspicion of Nipah virus, said Health Minister K K Shylaja. These bats had also transmitted Nipah virus to pigs, which then easily get transferred to humans.

Global efforts to develop a vaccine are underway following the Nipah virus outbreak in southern India earlier this week.

Dr Biju Mohan, consultant physician at Nirmala Hospital, Vellimadukunnu, said lack of an awareness session resulted in people worrying to step out of their homes. Body fluids can cause human-to-human transmission of Nipah, which has a mortality rate of 70% and has no vaccine. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats. Reports have claimed that those coming in contact with the victims such as medical professionals or crematorium workers have also been ostracised in Kozhikode and other neighbouring areas.

In India the disease was first reported in eastern West Bengal state in 2001.

Nipah virus is on CEPI's list of three targets, which also includes Lassa fever and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

About 100 families where someone has had contact with infected people are being carefully monitored.

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