Hyderabad on alert in wake of Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala

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The Nipah Virus (NiV) is spreading panic in Kerala, however, the district administration in Hyderabad has advised people not to panic as the problem so far was confined to Kerala.

Officials stated that there are no fruit bats in the city, through which the virus transmits into humans and another primary source of transmitting the virus – pigs were also in fewer numbers in Hyderabad.

Nevertheless, caution has been raised urging people to refrain from eating fruits having bite marks as the virus transmits into humans if the fruit bitten by a bat is consumed.

The Health Department officials were also taking the assistance of the National Institute of Virology, Pune to take preventive measures to contain the virus from spreading.

Nipah Virus (NiV) – An infectious disease of public health importance in South East Asia region which has infected 477 people and killed 252 since 1998. Named after a Malaysian village where it was first discovered, the virus case fatality rate ranges from 40 to 70 percent although there have been outbreaks where it has been as high as 100 percent.

Health Minister C Laxma Reddy on Tuesday informed that the department has contacted the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in New Delhi and Manipal Centre for Virology and Research (MCVR) regarding the lack of kits and trained staff for conducting medical tests for Nipah if needed.

Keeping this in regard, separate isolation wards have been set up at Osmania General Hospital and Gandhi Hospital in the city and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial hospital in Warangal.

As a precautionary measure to prevent the virus, the Health Department is planning to collect samples related to blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid.

Laxma Reddy further stated that the officials have been instructed to be on alert in the wake of the outbreak of the virus in Kerala.

 

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