Nipah Virus outbreak in South India: Gujarat govt. also issues alert, helpline Emergency number as precautionary measure


Amid the outbreak of deadly Nipah virus in South Indian state of Kerala where it has claimed more than half a dozen lives in last few days, Gujarat government as a precautionary measure has also issued alert about it and a helpline number.

A health department official today said that the number 9727723301 of the state nodal officer should be treated as emergency helpline number about any information or assistance regarding any suspected case of Nipah in the state.

As a precautionary measure all the district collectors and chief medical officers have also been alerted and government hospitals have been advised to create isolation wards if any suspected case is reported.

Notably, Nipah is an infection which can be transmitted to humans from animals. There is no vaccination for the virus which has a mortality rate of 70%.
It is also among top of the list of 10 priority diseases that the WHO has identified as potentials for the next major outbreak.

Fruit bats (Chamachidiya in Gujarat) and pigs are considered to be the natural host of the virus.

Some Facts about Nipah Virus-

Nipah virus (NiV) infection was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness among pig farmers and people with close contact with pigs in Malaysia and Singapore

During the outbreak at that time around 100 people had died. More than 10 lakh pigs, also a major source of the disease, were killed in Malaysia.

Symptom of the infection are fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion. The infected person can slip in to coma within 24-48 hours

The unfortunate part is that so far there is no vaccine for either humans or animals for this virus. Precaution is the only way out to prevent it in the areas where it spreads.


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