Nipah virus has not yet crossed over the boundaries Kerala. But the scare of the virus has spread through many places of the country. Many of the states were issuing advisories on precautions to prevent infection of the virus and travelling to Kerala.
On Saturday another death in Kerala was reported because of Nipah. The total number of deaths due to the virus has now reached 13. Kozhikode district with some from the nearby Malappuram district in Kerala, are the most affected by Nipah virus and thus the majority of the deaths have been reported from these places.
In Himachal Pradesh panic struck when in a Government Senior Secondary School in Barmapapri in Sirmaur district found numerous dead bats in its compound.
After the dead bats were found, there was panic in the area. But the National Institute of Virology in Pune said that bats were not the carriers of the Nipah virus in this case.
BK Agarwal, Additional Chief Secretary Himachal Pradesh, has advised people not to fear about the Nipah virus. He also said that all medical colleges in the state are ready to deal with the situation if it happens.
Two individuals from Telangana, including one who visited Kerala recently, were admitted to hospitals on Friday. They were suspected to have been infected by the Nipah virus. The health authorities of the state did not want to take any chances and sent their samples to Pune for investigation.
K Ramesh Reddy, Director of Medical Education, Telangana, said there was no need to panic because state had not recorded any confirmed case of Nipah virus.
People should postpone their plans to visit Kerala in view of the situation, said K Shankar, Director, Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM), Hyderabad. Awareness campaigns are being held at airport, railway and bus stations by the state authorities.
The Bihar government has also taken action against the Nipah virus. The government issued an alert where people were asked to take precautions. They issued some dos and don’ts as safety measures.
Health department official of Bihar, RD Ranjan said “The government has issued an alert of Nipah virus in view of its outbreak in Kerala.” “People have been advised to keep a distance from bats and pigs. They have been asked not to consume fruits without washing them,” he added.
On Friday, Madhya Pradesh government also issued an advisory on Nipah virus. In the advisory they said there was no reason to worry as the virus is generally limited to a place. B.N. Chouhan, Director Health Services, of the state, advised against eating fruits that have fallen on the ground or seems to have animal teeth or claw marks.
The persons who travelled from Kerala should get in touch with the nearest government hospital or people who are living in bat populated areas should do the same, the advisory said. If the symptoms of Nipah such as headaches, fever, body ache, cough and related problems in breathing, vomiting, diarrhoea, laziness, and others occur, they should immediately consult a doctor, Chouhan said.
Nipah virus is transmitted human to human or through fruits infected by bats and through pigs.
(Adapted from IndiaToday.com)