Health Care

Two suspected cases of Nipah virus reported from a second Indian state

Two suspected cases of Nipah virus reported from a second Indian state

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) said on Thursday that Profectus BioSciences and Emergent BioSolutions would receive up to $25 million to advance development and manufacturing of a shot for the bat-borne disease.

Officers of the Health Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Forest Department arrived at the Burma Papadi School, following a directive from the Deputy Commissioner, and took samples from the dead bats for further investigation.

Two people suspected to be infected with the brain-damaging Nipah virus are under treatment in India's Karnataka state, a health official said on Wednesday (May 23), after an outbreak of the rare virus in neighbouring Kerala state killed 10.

The Nipah virus has claimed 10 lives so far in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. Close contact with these infected animals can cause human infection. The Cabinet reviewed the steps taken to contain the disease. What exactly is Nipah virus and where does it come from? The advisory has also asked the administration to ensure availability of isolation and emergency management facilities before referral.

Officials set a net over a well to catch bats in Kozhhikode district of Kerala which is the epicentre of the outbreak
Officials set a net over a well to catch bats in Kozhhikode district of Kerala which is the epicentre of the outbreak

Sharif said rapid response teams comprising six to seven members had been formed in every district to deal with the possible outbreak of Nipah infections.

The state of Kerala, in southern India, is on high alert due to deaths caused by Nipah Virus Outbreak, especially after the death of a doctor treating a Nipah Virus patient. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

- Nipah was first identified in 1999 when pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore became very sick, according to Time magazine.

There is now no vaccine or treatment to tackle Nipah, which has a mortality rate of around 70 percent.

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Treatment options are limited mostly to supportive care.

This can be followed by dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis.

An infected patient can fall into a coma within 48 hours.

What are the symptoms of the infection? The incubation period ranges between 4 to 18 days. Eating food which may have the droplets of saliva of infected bats can lead to the transmission of the virus.

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- The virus, in some cases, can remain in the body for months - and even years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, carried by fruit bats and spread through contact with bodily fluids, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

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