Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Madhya Pradesh issues advisory on Nipah virus

Madhya Pradesh issues advisory on Nipah virus

The health ministry is closely monitoring the outbreak of Nipah virus (NiV) in some parts of Kerala in India, according to a notification it issued yesterday.

Kozhikode: The deadly Nipah virus that has claimed 12 lives so far may not be related to fruit bats at all, claim medical lab reports. Since it was first described, there had been small outbreaks in Asia and Bangladesh every year, but experts believe it can still spread in other regions especially since its bat hosts can live as far as West Africa and Australia.

Emergency measures have been imposed across the southwestern state of Kerala following the emergence of the nipah virus, which causes flu-like symptoms leading to an agonising brain-swelling condition known as encephalitis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nipah virus was first identified during an outbreak of diseases that took place in Malaysia in 1998.

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"Hospital-acquired infections are a major path of human to human transmission", added Kumar, who heads the Manipal Centre for Virus Research that is testing virus samples.

Those afflicted by the disease, which has a mortality rate of 70% and has no vaccine, can also be sent in to a coma. However, the lab officials are still in the process to conduct more tests to find the main cause.

Earlier, tests had ruled out bats being behind the spread of the Nipah virus in Kerala's Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. Also, people infected with the disease can spread the virus.

One more death was reported in Kerala's Calicut due to Nipah Virus on Sunday.

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Among the advisories given, the WHO has advised countries to enhance surveillance at health care facilities including at points of entry and give case definitions among healthcare workers (HCWs). The virus kills up to 75 percent of those infected.

Nipah virus can be transmitted by infected pigs, or by fruit bats, through their secretions of saliva, urine or faeces.

In the meantime, the doctors also enquired about the health of other members of Salih's family and discovered that Salih's brother, Muhammed Sabith, had died on May 5 at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital after showing the same symptoms.

Numerous handful of mourners who turned out for the burial were also wearing breathing masks.

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"Public awareness activities have to be organised to inform the public to avoid fruits eaten by animals, including bats".

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