The scare of the Nipah virus is fast spreading into many states. Kerala’s neighbouring states are on alert following the outbreak of the Nipah there. The alert was sounded by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Sunil Gupta, additional director, microbiology, NCDC said: “We are currently preparing a national advisory for Nipah virus for all states and Union territories. Currently we are focusing on neighbouring states.” Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa have been asked to take proper measures.
At least 11 people have lost their lives to the Nipah virus in Kerala. 13 confirmed cases were reported there while out of the 16 suspected cases, 15 were admitted in Government Medical College, Kozhikode, and one was admitted in Manjeri Medical College in Malappuram, the Union health ministry said.
Two residents of Karnataka’s Mangaluru were admitted to hospitals with symptoms of the virus after they returned from Kerala and had reportedly come in contact with infected patients there. However, this has not officially been confirmed by the government agencies.
Gupta said “Currently, the cases are limited to Kerala only. There is no confirmation of spread of the disease to other states. We urge the public not to panic as the situation is under control.”
On Wednesday. Kerala government asked tourists to avoid visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur. The government of Karnataka also directed visitors to avoid eight districts bordering Kerala, including Chamarajnagar, Mysuru, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru. High alert has also been issued in Goa.
Prem Nair, medical director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi said “it carries high mortality ranging from 75 to 100%. It affects the brain and causes depressed sensorial, fever and respiratory depression. People who consume pork are at high risk. Treatment is supportive as there are no vaccines or antiviral medications.’’
This was the picture of Kerala and its surrounding areas. But Nipah virus now is spreading scare in Himachal Pradesh too. Panic spread in Nahan district of Himachal Pradesh after 18 dead bats was found in a government school. It has been established that bats are the reason behind the spread of Nipah virus.
For further investigation, officers of the Health Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Forest Department of the state have taken samples from the dead bats, which were found from Burma Papri School.
Dr Sanjay Sharma the district’s Chief Medical Officer said “the principal of the school and the students said that bats come here every year, and eventually perish, however, this year, their numbers are far greater than in previous years.”
Sharma added “we have informed the teachers, students of the school about the virus, its symptoms, and preventive measures. We told them to avoid physical contact in case of an outbreak, as this is a communicable disease.”
“There is panic among the people after this episode. The way bats are dying, Napah Virus’s fears cannot be sidelined,” school principal Suparna Bharadwaj told this.
In the meantime, the government of Kerala is closely monitoring the situation and is taking every precaution, said the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda is also taking regular updates of the situation and has directed to constitute a team of six doctors to probe the outbreak of the virus.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com & NDTV.com)