Second outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala

  • 07 Jun 2019
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Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja has confirmed the resurface of the Nipah virus – as a 23-year-old has been diagnosed of being infected with the virus in Kerala's Ernakulam.

This would be the second time the state has to deal with the virus which had claimed 17 lives last year.

The Nipah infection usually spreads from animal to animal, but it also spreads from animal to humans via contact with pigs and bats.

According to the World Health Organisation, the fatality rate is estimated at 40 to 75 %. This rate can vary, depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management.

How it spreads and preventive measures:

An infected bat spreads the virus through the fruits it eats; or when its guano (faeces) comes in contact with the fruits. Once a person is infected, it takes 14 days for the symptoms to appear. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, losing consciousness and giddiness.

During the first outbreak in Malaysia, nearly 50% of the patients with the virus died.

There is no vaccine for the infection as yet. The only way of controlling it is by preventing it from spreading. Farm animals should be kept from eating fruits contaminated by bats. Avoid the consumption of date palm sap. Physical barriers should be placed in order to prevent bats from accessing and contaminating the palm sap. Early recognition of infected pigs can help protect other animals and human beings.

Source: Times of India
Photo source: Moneycontrol

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