No threat to Kerala from Nipah virus, says Indian Medical Association

Faith Castro
June 4, 2018

Shailaja said that extreme caution is being exercised.

Kozhikode: As the Nipah virus scare mounts tension in Kerala, the state government has made a decision to delay the re-opening of schools and colleges in Kozhikode till June 12, which has deferred the examinations barring the Union Publis Service Commission (UPSC).

Shailaja said those that had come in contact with Nipah patients should be cautious till the end of the virus's incubation period and, hence, daily screening of these people has become essential to prevent the spread of the brain-damaging illness. The virus was first found in patients in Malaysia in a village in 1998.

The symptoms of Nipah are similar to that of influenza: fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems.

Experts say that since the symptoms are similar to other diseases, it becomes hard to initially diagnose it. Both animal-to-human and human-to-human transmission have been documented.

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President Ravi Wankadekar on Saturday said Kerala need not worry about the Nipah virus as the state is absolutely safe from it now. This comes in the wake of the district being on high alert owing to a possible second wave of Nipah Virus infection.

The authorities added that mangoes are brought in from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar while the apples are sourced from Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Sometimes a person can have an asymptomatic infection, and be a carrier of Nipah and not show any symptoms. "Ambulances have been arranged in case anyone needs to be shifted to hospitals", Rajeev Sadanand, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), the government of Kerala told the publication.

The health department has chose to broaden the list of those under observation.

Since 1998 to 2015, more than 600 cases of Nipah virus human infections have been reported. This, however, turned out to be false information with officials condemning the act. The message mentioned cases being detected in Williamnagar in East Garo Hill district of the state.

The advisory states that Bhutanese students particularly in India should take necessary precautionary measures such as avoiding contact with infected people, eating stale food, eating meat especially pork and fruits.

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