In view of the cases of Nipah virus being reported in Kerala, the Karnataka government on Tuesday issued an advisory to prevent a similar outbreak in the state.

The virus has killed a 12-year-old boy in Kerala’s Kozhikode and infected some healthcare workers. The Karnataka government has asked districts bordering Kerala to be extra vigilant.

The district authorities have been asked to monitor those arriving from Kerala for symptoms like fever, altered mental status, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion and diarrhoea.

In its advisory, the Karnataka government has also asked district authorities to develop a systematic surveillance system to identify clusters of encephalitis cases for early detection of Nipah outbreaks.

They have also been asked to spread public awareness in this regard. The advisory further said, “Suitable samples to be collected with all necessary precautions from suspected or probable patients and sent to NIV Pune for laboratory confirmation.

” According to World Health Organization (WHO), Nipah is a zoonotic virus – which is transmitted from animals to humans – and also through contaminated food or directly between people.

Fruit bats are the major carriers of this virus. It is not an airborne infection and in fact, is transmitted from bats and pigs. It is fatal not only for humans but animals too.

Those infected with Nipah virus may showcase Covid-like symptoms.

The common symptoms of Nipah Virus are cough, sore throat, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle pain, tiredness, and encephalitis that is the swelling of the brain causing a headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, mental confusion, and seizures.

One may also become unconscious and it can ultimately lead to death. The Nipan virus was first spotted in Malaysia during an outbreak among pig farmers in the year 1999, according to WHO. It was first detected in India in Siliguri, West Bengal in 2001 when 45 people died. Kerala had reported several cases of it in 2018. The incubation period of the virus is two weeks.( Hindustan Times)



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