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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightKerala on alert for...

Kerala on alert for Nipah virus amid bat breeding season

Kerala on alert for Nipah virus amid bat breeding season

Thiruvananthapuram: The Health Department has set up an alert for the Nipah virus in the state. Hospitals were given the directive to monitor patients for symptoms similar to that of the virus.

The alert from the ministry has come out as this is the breeding time of the bats, known carriers of the virus.

Veena George, the Health Minister, has said that even though the Nipah virus was previously only reported in Calicut and Ernakulam districts, monitoring will be increased in all districts.

Monitoring against the virus will be carried out with the cooperation of the forest and animal husbandry departments

On May 12, a workshop on the Nipah virus and ways to mitigate it will be conducted by the health department at gender Park in Kozhikode. Scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Virology, State Institute of Virology, health workers, and officers from forest and animal husbandry departments will attend the workshop, according to a report by The New Indian Express.

Nipah is a zoonotic virus, i.e., its transmission can be from animals to humans. This virus has a higher mortality rate than other infections, including COVID-19. Apart from this, the virus can also be transmitted from people affected by it or through contaminated food.

The World Health Organization has classified this virus as an emerging infectious disease threat.

In Kerala, this virus was first reported in Perambra in Kozhikode in May 2018. The infection later spread to the neighbouring Malappuram district.

The 2018 outbreak had a death toll of 16 people, but was contained and declared over on June 10, 2018.

In 2019, the virus was detected in Ernakulam, but there were no deaths. The latest case was reported from Kozhikode in 2021, where a 12-year-old boy later died from the infection.

Although the health department was not able to establish the link of transmission of the disease from bats to humans, bats are widely considered the source of Nipah virus.

The National Institute of Virology, Pune, had detected antibodies against Nipah in the samples collected from bats from the surroundings of the victims' houses.

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TAGS:KeralaVeena GeorgeNipah Virus
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