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Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

No trace of Nipah virus in Himachal clarifies officer

No trace of Nipah virus in Himachal clarifies officer

Although the risk of getting infected with the virus from bats and pigs are low in Bhutan, Dr Karma Lhazeen said the risk is in people travelling in and out of the affected places.

The Foreign Office has alerted travellers that "there have been official reports of a Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala".

There has been no information about the spread of Nipah virus beyond two districts of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary of Health B K Aggarwal said here today and appealed to the residents of the hilly state not to panic. "We have been asked by the Centre not to put any restriction on people visiting Kerela", said Umesh Phangcho, state nodal officer, vector-borne disease control programme, Assam.

The health ministry has issued prevention guidelines advising people to avoid contact with infected bats and pigs, avoid consuming raw foods, eat only well-cooked food, maintaining personal hygiene and hand washing practice, wearing N95 mask and reporting to the doctor in case of any symptoms.

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.

"Nipah virus is an RNA virus that is part of the Paramyxovidae family that was first identified as a zoonotic pathogen after an outbreak involving severe respiratory illness in pigs and encephalitic disease in humans in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999", according to the WHO's website. Of the 15 confirmed cases, 14 people have died so far. Although the test results are showing that the Nipah virus has not come from bats.

A Whatsapp group has also been created where all medical colleges and General Hospitals have been directed to submit a daily report.

The Nipah virus is spread through contact with the saliva, urine, or excreta of fruit bats, which are its natural hosts. The majority of deaths in Kerala have been in the coastal city of Kozhikode. Wellbeing authorities connected the underlying passings to an all around colonized by bats at a house in Kerala's Kozihikode where the four individuals from a family kicked the bucket of the uncommon Nipah infection.

The state government has advised students from Kerala studying in various institutions of the state not to vist Kerala for now to avoid chances of contacting the virus. It is recommended to boil the palm sap before drinking it, and to thoroughly clean, and skin any fruit in areas that have higher fruit bat population.

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