Understanding Nipah virus & public health outcome

WHO warns against outbreak of Nipah virus

Nipah: Medicines to be brought from Malaysia, says minister

There has not yet been an official statement from Public Health England about travel to Kerala, but the risks to travellers are likely to be extremely low. In the Kozhikode College Hospital, 17 people are being treated for the suspected virus.

The National Centre for Disease Control has issued high alert across the country after an outbreak of the Nipah virus (NiV) infection in Kerala.

The Kerala government on Wednesday asked residents to avoid travelling to four districts in the north of the state amid a Nipah virus epidemic that has claimed 11 lives so far.

Officers of the Health Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Forest Department arrived at the Burma Papadi School, following a directive from the Deputy Commissioner, and took samples from the dead bats for further investigation.

Meanwhile, a health ministry official said that as all means of transport can't be blocked, the state would have to prepare itself to take preventive measures.

V. Moosa, who died Thursday in a hospital in the southwest state of Kerala, had two sons and a sister-in-law succumb to the same deadly infection spread by fruit bats last week.


A global coalition set up a year ago to fight epidemics has struck a $25 million deal with two USA biotech companies to accelerate work on a vaccine against the brain-damaging Nipah virus that has killed 12 people in India. Nipah is a emerging zoonotic diseases that affects humans and animals. There is no confirmation as yet that the virus has spread out of Kerala.

This comes even as the authorities said that the situation was under control. The virus is spread by infected bats, pigs or humans.

In Bangladesh in 2004, humans became infected with NiV as a result of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats.

Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since 1998 and has a mortality rate of almost 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

He said as part of the general advisory, "a circular would be issued to all private and government doctors in the state to stay vigilant about symptoms of the virus being seen in any patient".

There is now no vaccine or drug available for humans or animals and the main treatment is intensive support care for those who are suffering from respiratory and neurologic problems.

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