After Kerala, Nipah virus sparks fear in Karnataka; 2 cases suspected

Grant Boone
May 25, 2018

The reason for fear is because of the fact that fruit bats are the major carriers of the virus.

Professor Juliet Pulliam, director at South African DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA) at Stellenbosch University, warned the virus is more easily spread from people with respiratory symptoms.

Bhubaneswar: With the deadly Nipah Virus (NiV) reportedly claiming lives of 12 persons in Kerela, the Odisha government has issued an alert to five medical colleges and 30 District Headquarters Hospitals (DHHs) in the wake of the virus outbreak.

Nurse Lini Puthussery, who had initially treated the affected members of Moosa's family in the Perambra Taluk hospital in the district, also died after being infected by the virus. However, surveillance is being conducted in Kozhikode and its neighbouring districts of Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur. But the ministry did not specify whether Nipah virus was confirmed to be the cause in all cases. "Also, 95 families are under surveillance", health ministry official said.

Mr Choubey said hospitals in public and private sectors have been provided with personal protective equipment and appropriate steps to contain this virus have been taken.

The UAE Consulate of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram has issued a warning on its official Twitter handle regarding the recent Nipah virus outbreak.

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"We have sent their samples for investigation and have sensitized the administration teachers and students about Nipah virus", Chief Medical Officer of Sirmaur district, Dr Sanjay Sharma, told ANI.

The Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratory at Manipal Hospital and the National Institute of Virology have been asked to meet the diagnostic challenges.

"Due to the spread of the unsafe # NipahVirus in Kerala, South India, citizens are advised to be cautious, till situation is under control", a tweet from the consulate said. "The natural host of the virus is the fruit bat of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus". NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998. Intermediate hosts of this instance were found to be pigs.

Currently, there is no vaccine or drug for treatment of the NiV infection. The primary treatment is intensive supportive care.

Nipah virus infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis.

Most symptoms are either neurological and can result in high fever, severe headaches, or seizures.

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