New Delhi — Authorities in Kerala, South India, Nipah virus.. Unrelated to the coronavirus behind the current pandemic, the much more deadly virus killed a 12-year-old boy in Kerala over the weekend and intensified efforts to track his contacts. Prompted. A new infection has been confirmed.
The boy was hospitalized with a high fever a week ago. As his condition worsened and doctors suspected his brain inflammation (encephalitis), his blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology, where tests confirmed Nipa infection. He died early on Sunday.
Government officials have stepped up contact tracing efforts by identifying, quarantining, and testing those who may have come into contact with young victims. According to state health minister Veena George, 188 people who had contact with the boy had been identified by Monday. Twenty of them were considered key high-risk contacts. Primarily his family, all were under strict quarantine or hospitalized.
Two health care workers who came into contact with the victim had already shown symptoms of Nipa infection by Monday. They were admitted to the hospital and blood samples were sent for testing.
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Authorities blocked an area within a two-mile radius of the boy’s home and screened people for symptoms in all adjacent districts of Kerala. The neighboring state of Tamil Nadu was also very cautious about cases of suspected fever.
The outbreak of Nipah virus has been reported in Kerala for the first time in three years, and the COVID-19 infection rate is also high in Kerala. The state reports daily about 68% of about 40,000 new cases in India.
What is Nipah virus?
Like the coronavirus, Nipa is a zoonotic virus, or a virus that infects humans from animals. Transmission generally occurs when humans come into direct contact with animals or ingest contaminated food. However, many human-to-human infectious diseases have been reported.
The flying foxes of the flying fox family, commonly known as “flying foxes,” are the natural carriers of Nipa. They are known to infect other animals such as pigs, dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.
Infected humans usually develop symptoms such as fever and headache for 3 days to 2 weeks, followed by coughing, sore throat, and respiratory problems. The condition then progresses rapidly and can lead to swelling of brain cells, drowsiness, confusion, and coma and death.
There is no cure or vaccine for Nipa yet, and patients are only given supportive medical care.
According to the World Health Organization 75% of Nipa infections turn out to be fatal.. By comparison, the coronavirus mortality rate is thought to be about 2%. Approximately 20% of survivors experience potentially persistent neurological symptoms such as seizures and personality changes.
Nipah virus was first discovered in Malaysia in 1999 when it occurred among pig farmers. Since then, there have been multiple outbreaks — all of which have occurred in South and Southeast Asia. A total of more than 260 people are known to have died.
The 2004 outbreak in Bangladesh dates back to humans who consumed the sap of date palms contaminated with infected fruit bats. Last outbreak in India, Hit Kerala in 2018, Killed 17 of the 18 who caught it. All of these infections date back to fruit bats found dead in the water of family wells. Nipa is thought to be less contagious than the coronavirus, but with a much higher mortality rate, a long incubation period of up to 45 days, and the ability to infect a wide variety of animals, Nipa tries to predict. It is a source of serious concern for epidemiologists. And prevent the next pandemic.
Veasna Duong, director of the Department of Virology at the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is studying the interaction between humans and bats in the region. Other crowded areas throughout Asia pose a serious risk.
“This type of exposure allows the virus to mutate and can cause a pandemic,” Duon told the BBC. future The program added that in some situations the virus could even find a host to run it from Asia.
“We observe [fruit bats] Here and in Thailand, there are plenty of bats in tourist destinations like markets, worship areas, schools and Angkor Wat, “he told the BBC’s Future Program. “Usually, Angkor Wat is visited by 2.6 million visitors. This is the 2.6 million opportunity for Nipah virus to jump from bats to humans in one place each year.”
Scientists say as the climate warms and humans destroy more natural habitats for species like fruit bats in Asia. More opportunities for new zoonotic variants to emerge..
WHO says in it Notes on Nipah virus “The risk of international transmission through fruits and fruit products (such as raw date palm juice) contaminated with infected bat urine and saliva can be prevented by thorough washing and peeling before consumption. Fruits with signs of bat bites are thrown away. “
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