Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Nipah virus: Deadly disease spreading as India widens quarantine area

Nipah suspected cases in Karnataka as Bahrain urges nationals avoid travel to Kerala where 11 dead UAE, Bahrain caution citizens after Nipah virus outbreak
Johnnie Parks | 26 May, 2018, 20:46

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.

"All steps to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken", she said. What makes this deadly is that with each outbreak, changes have been noted in the mutation of the virus-meaning that it needs to be studied separately each time. We have told them whatever happens, do not touch those bats.

The experimental vaccine being developed by the biotech companies has produced promising results in animal tests, following more than 15 years of research by scientists at the USA -based Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Nipa Virus aka NiV was first identified in Malaysia in 1988. Here are some common signs and symptoms of NiV infection.

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. According to the ministry, of the 12 deaths so far due to the virus, nine people died in Kozhikode district and three in Mallappuram.

In Bangladesh in 2004, humans became infected with NiV as a result of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats.

UAE, Bahrain caution citizens after Nipah virus outbreak

Almost 300 people were diagnosed with the disease, and more than 100 of them died, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, the district health department has already prepared a treatment protocol for the disease which will be finalised after discussing with experts teams from NCDC and AIMMS. Most human cases are dealt with through supportive care. However, given the vast number of viral infections, it is recommended that you don't panic each time someone coughs or experiences respiratory problems, and instead, get a thorough check-up done.

What are the symptoms of the infection?

A global coalition set up a year ago to fight epidemics has struck a $25 million deal with two US biotech companies to accelerate work on a vaccine against the brain-damaging Nipah virus that has killed 12 people in India.

The World Health Organization has named Nipah as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside the likes of Ebola and Zika. Earlier, cases of Nipah virus were reported from West Bengal's Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia district in 2007 and around 47 deaths were reported.

The virus spreads through close contact with people's secretions and excretions.

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