World Health Organization warns against outbreak of Nipah virus

World Health Organization warns against outbreak of Nipah virus

The Centre is satisfied with the State Health Department's efforts to control the outbreak of Nipah virus infection in Kozhikode district and the precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease to other areas. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had written to the Queensland government in Australia asking it to provide the antibody developed there to test if it can "neutralise" the virus in humans.

Also, humans become infected with Nipah as a result of consuming food products contaminated by secretions of infected fruit bats.

He said there was no need for panic as the state had not recorded any confirmed case of Nipah virus.

The advisory has asked people to stay away from bats and pigs in order to not get affected. "Citizens should follow preventive measures and hygiene", Ms Tiwari said.

The Kerala high court on Friday sought the views of central and state governments on a petition for blocking videos put up on social media refuting the government's alleged stance that Nipah virus is behind the deaths in Northern Kerala. However, Bihar reports encephalitis cases every summer, and as one of the reasons of death from Nipah is brain fever - also a symptom of encephalitis - the state health society has made a decision to keep track.

Meanwhile, CEPI today announced a collaboration with Profectus BioSciences and Emergent BioSolutions to develop and make a vaccine against Nipah virus, which is harbored in bats and can spread to humans and livestock.

Also, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is closely monitoring the outbreak and taking steps to prevent its further spread.

"As there is no approved specific therapy for this infection prevention is the only cure".

Taking cognizance of the issue, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda has also directed to constitute a team of six doctors to probe the outbreak of the virus. Health Services Director B.N. Chouhan however said there was no reason to worry as the virus is generally limited to a place. They, however, have not not ruled out the role of fruit bats in spreading the infection.

There are no vaccines available against Nipah virus (NiV).

The primary treatment for humans is supportive care. With regards to preventive or other measures, we will take guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other global bodies. "People have been advised to keep a distance from bats and pigs".

First identified among pig farmers in Malaysia, the disease also surfaced in Siliguri, West Bengal, in 2001 and again in 2007.