Medicine

After Kerala, Nipah virus suspected in Himachal Pradesh

After Kerala, Nipah virus suspected in Himachal Pradesh

Nipah virus is commonly found in the saliva and urine of these bats. Nipah, an emerging virus transmitted through animals, is said to have claimed 11 lives in Kerala and is reported to have crossed into the borders of Karnataka as well. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep.

However, there is no vaccine for this virus yet, says the World Health Organization.

As in the case of the first outbreak in 1998, bats may pass the virus to other animals and livestock, which can then pass it on to humans.

The advisory came in the wake of two suspected cases from Mangaluru and one in Kottayam.

An expert team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), including its director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh and Head of Epidemiology, Dr S K Jain, and a high-level team from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are camping in Kerala to take stock of the situation. Symptoms can vary from acute respiratory infection to fatal encephalitis.

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Over 50 families have emptied their houses at Koorachundu and Chakkittapara villages in Kozhikode district as fear of contracting the Nipah fever gripped them.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government has asked travellers to avoid visiting four northern districts of the state - Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.

"Take care of our children", wrote Puthusheri, who was infected with Nipah virus while caring for sick patients.

A nurse who treated some of the victims died Monday from the disease, according to the BCC. The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats. "It was a highly localised infection and we have been able to contain it well", Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said. Infected people initially develop influenza-like symptoms of fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat. Due to the migratory habit of the locally abundant fruit bats in South Asia, Nipah outbreaks occur more in this region.

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. Taking cognizance of the issue, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda also directed to constitute a team of six doctors to probe the outbreak of the virus. Treatment for human cases is management treatment along with intensive supportive care. The early symptoms of Nipah Virus are mostly non-specific and can be really confusing to detect at an early stage.