Health Care

Nipah virus scare: No need to panic; adopt good hygiene practices

Nipah virus scare: No need to panic; adopt good hygiene practices

Two more Nipah-infected people are undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

Under the terms of the $25 million agreement, Profectus will receive support to advance its Nipah virus vaccine, and Emergent will receive funding to cover technical and manufacturing support.

Nipah virus which has claimed at least almost a dozen lives in Kerala did not spread through bats, a report has said. Also, people infected with the disease can spread the virus. The disease is being linked to fruit bats, who infect fruits, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) website. The Nipah virus infection's early symptoms are similar to those that come with influenza, notably fever and muscle ache, but it can then seriously affect the respiratory and central nervous systems, and even lead to encephalitis (brain inflammation).

Fruit sellers are severely affected by the outbreak of the virus.

The outbreak of the virus infection, which is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well which was infested with bats.

But panic has already set in, with tests having been ordered after several bats were found dead at a secondary school in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

175 people are under observation on suspicion of Nipah virus, said Health Minister K K Shylaja.

The Union wellbeing service has said the infection has not spread past Kerala. More worryingly, doctors found that the virus could spread among humans via contact with infected patients.

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Officials on Friday evening ruled out the possibility of the virus spreading through fruit bats or pigs as lab reports from Bhopal turned out to be negative.

"There is no need to panic about nipah virus here".

On Thursday, medical workers in white plastic suits and breathing masks buried the latest victim in the town of Kozhikode, placing his plastic-wrapped corpse in the red earth.

In some cases human-to-human transmission has also been documented.

Its natural host are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, and it was first identified just 20 years ago in 1998 when an outbreak occurred in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia.

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

Another 40 people with Nipah symptoms, which can include high fever, vomiting and convulsions, are being treated in area hospitals.