All the authorities are working to curb Southern India’s Nipah Virus. Entirely different from coronavirus, this Virus is even more deadly. Starting from a 12-year-old boy to health workers.
Kerala Health Minister said, “two more people get infected from Nipah Virus after the 12-year-old died of it.” They are the health workers who took care of the boy during his fight with the virus. Minister told that they were at the highest risk from the virus as they were closely working with the boy.
“We have identified 188 contacts till now. The surveillance team has marked 20 of them as high-risk contacts. Two of these high-risk contacts have symptoms. Kerala Health Minister quoted,” Both are health workers.” Indeed, she said that one of the health workers is employed at a private hospital while the other is a staff of Kozhikode Medical College hospital.
George added that the 20 high-risk contacts of the 12-year-old deceased will be shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College. The other contacts of the deceased were told to remain in isolation in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Also, The pay ward at the Medical College Hospital has been completely converted into a dedicated Nipah ward.
The last rites of the infected boy were done following complete Covid-19 protocol.
The National Institute of Virology, Pune, tested samples and confirmed the boy tested positive for Nipah Virus, earlier the day. Meanwhile, a team of experts by the center to provide a hand in stopping the spread of the virus in the state.
What is Nipah Virus?
The saliva of fruit bats spreads the Nipah virus. Bat-bitten fruits are a major spreader of the disease in humans. Humans can spread the disease to other humans through body fluids. Once infected the person will show symptoms like fever, headache, and vomiting. Some patients may also have signed similarly to people suffering from epilepsy. If the disease aggravates, unchecked the patient could become unconscious and brain fever could also trigger death. The case fatality rate of the Nipah virus is 40-80%. The incubation period of Nipah is two weeks.
Timeline of Virus in Kerala (2018)
This was the third time in 2018 that Nipah Virus attacked India. It was first detected in 2001 and 2007, both in West Bengal. Indeed, 2018 in Kerala. The index case in Kerala found in Kozhikode district on May 2. The samples got tested at the Manipal Institute of Virology and confirmed to be Nipah Virus. a specialized team of doctors was operating the index patient and searching for ways to control spread. But, the index patient died and spread the virus to 18 people.
Indeed, 10 deaths in the first week, including a nurse named Lini Puthussery who treated the index patient before diagnosis. The outbreak began in Kozhikode district and later spread to the adjoining Malappuram district. After Sabith, 16 of the affected patients succumbed to the disease, and two patients recovered fully.
Three years later, on 5th September 2021, a 12-year-old boy died of Nipah Virus.
Symptoms of Virus
Symptoms majorly appear in 4-14 days after exposure to the virus. The illness initially presents as 3-14 days of fever and headache and often includes signs of respiratory illness, such as cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. A phase of brain swelling (encephalitis) may follow, where symptoms can include drowsiness, disorientation, and mental confusion, which can rapidly progress to coma within 24-48 hours.
Initial Symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
In case of severe condition:
- Disorientation, drowsiness, or confusion
- Brain swelling (encephalitis)
Aftereffects of Nipah Virus can 40-50% times can lead to the death of the index patient. But, long-term effects may include persistent convulsions and personality changes.
In areas where Nipah virus (NiV) outbreaks have occurred (Bangladesh, Malaysia, India, and Singapore), people should:
- Practice handwashing regularly with soap and water
- Avoid contact with sick bats or pigs
- Refrain from areas of bats
- Avoid consumption of raw date palm sap
- Refrain from consumption of fruits that may be contaminated by bats
As Nipah Virus is a communicable disease and can transmit from person to person in zero time.