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2 dead, several affected by Nipah virus in Kerala. All you need to know

Author: Heena Sharma
by Heena Sharma
Posted: May 21, 2018

There is no vaccine for either humans or animals as the primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care

Current Affairs News: The outbreak of Nipah virus in the southern state of Kerala has put the Kerala health department on high alert. At least nine people have died in Kerala's Calicut district due to high fever with two out of the nine deceased were affected with the rare Nipah virus. Kerala Health Secretary Rajiv Sadanandan told IANS that they have now got the confirmation from the National Institute of Virology, Pune. The health department has, however, not confirmed the cause of the death of the other seven patients and sent their samples for tests.

"The samples of the other deceased have been sent for tests to virology institute Manipal. A task force has been formed under District Collector U V Jose for further probe on it," an official from the health department said.

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus. NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis. NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infection with Nipah virus is associated with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). After exposure and an incubation period of 5 to 14 days, illness presents with 3-14 days of fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion. These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours. Some patients have a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections, and half of the patients showing severe neurological signs showed also pulmonary signs.

Meanwhile, the health department conducted emergency meetings in Kozhikode under Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda along with Secretary Health over the deaths.

Union Minister J P Nadda had yesterday directed the Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to visit Kerala Kozhikode district to assist the state government in the wake of the death of three people due to Nipah virus.

"Reviewed the situation of deaths related to Nipah virus in Kerala with Secretary Health. I have directed Director NCDC to visit the district and initiate required steps as warranted by the protocol for the disease in consultation with state government," Nadda had said in a tweet.

State Health Minister K K Shylaja had yesterday said the nature of the virus was yet to be ascertained. "The kind of virus that caused the disease has not been ascertained. Blood and other samples of the deceased have been sent to the National Virology Institute, Pune. The results will be made available in a few days," Shylaja told reporters here after chairing a meet of top health department officials.

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Author: Heena Sharma

Heena Sharma

Member since: Apr 26, 2018
Published articles: 67

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