Nipah Virus: Outbreaks in Karnataka, Symptoms & precautions

28 May, 2018, 06:35 | Author: Earnest Bishop
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In the ongoing panic caused by the Nipah Virus, Kerala witnessed another tragedy on Monday, when one of three nurses, Lini Puthussery, died after taking care of a patient who contracted the deadly virus. In India, it was first reported in 2001 and again six years later, with the two earlier outbreak claiming 50 lives.

The Nipah virus was first identified in 1999, after farmers and others who had come in contact with infected pigs in Malaysia and Singapore developed severe respiratory problems and inflammation in the brain in 1999. Nipah virus, or NiV, has infected 13 other people, two of whom were in critical condition in hospital on Wednesday. In regard to the current outbreak, authorities are testing local livestock and food, as well as the fruits of a mango tree in the home of a family that lost four members to the virus, to see if the fruits have been bitten and infected by bats. The government has directed border districts to submit a daily outbreak report.

However, they were asked to take such steps if any of them reported having fever or related illness.

Today the death toll of the virus - which has no vaccine - rose to 11, with nearly 100 people being treated as potential cases. The disease is said to be highly infectious and has an 80% mortality rate. This virus does not make the bats sick, which means that they coexist and have co evolved.

Eating fruits that have been partially eaten by infected bats or the cooked meat of infected animals can also lead to people developing the virus.

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Nipah Virus could spread through contaminated toddy and fruits such as Mangoes and Bananas. It affected domestic animals before humans.

The virus is spread through bodily fluids that can be passed from one creature to another. According to World Health Organization, human infections range from asymptomatic infection, acute respiratory infection (mild, severe), and fatal encephalitis.

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 (AIMS) are already in Kerala to take stock of the situation. He added that the patient was treated by doctors from cardiology, medicine and haematology departments.

What precautions can be taken to combat the Nipah virus?

The major treatment for infected is "Intensive Supportive Care", according to United Nations health body.

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