Nipah Virus has frightened Kerala. But that does not mean that we are totally safe here up in North.
Nipah virus- should we be scared?
The talk of the hour is the outbreak of a deadly virus disease which is spreading as we speak. So far, this deadly ‘Nipah virus’ has claimed the lives of 15 civilians in Kerala including a nurse who was treating the infected.
But where did it come from?
Nipah virus originated from a particular variety of bat called ‘Flying fox or Fruit bats’. They are called Fruit bats because their primary food is fruits like date palms. With its present outbreak in Kerala- several people are being quarantined. Without any doubt, this infection is deadly for humans.
But do you need to take any precautions?
Definitely. Even the Delhi government has regulated a health advisory to stop consumption of raw date palms as well as fruits. The virus, supposedly spreads with date palm contaminated by bats saliva, infected pigs or patients.
What signs and symptoms do you need to look out for?
As deadly the virus is- the symptoms too are very difficult to study. This virus can infect a human without having any symptoms.
You need to watch out for symptoms similar to:
Fever with headache, Vomiting & Muscle pain, Sore throat & Difficulty in breathing
Once infected, it can cause difficulty in breathing and as it advances – it can lead to severe pneumonia and acute respiratory problems.
The advanced stage causes inflammation of brain tissues accompanied by drowsiness, altered consciousness, dizziness, and neurological signs.
The last stage leads to seizures, further progressing to a state of coma and eventually death.
How does it spread?
The Nipah virus is contagious and spreads from human-to-human. The secretions and excretions from the infected person can easily affect you.
Also, if you eat any fruit which is partially eaten by infected bats, there are high chances that you’ll become infected too.
How can you gear up for prevention?
- Avoid being in the vicinity of an infected person
- Wear NH95 grade masks along with maintaining extra hygiene
- Consume fruits after washing and peeling
- Don’t visit animal pens
- Avoid eating any partly consumed fruit
- Stay away from toddy consumption and cover your house property.
What is the Government doing about it?
In order to keep the infection contained, the health officials in Kerala are maintaining strict procedures so that the infection doesn’t get transmitted.
The transmission mostly happens in the form of droplets generated from cough. And for the same reason, they are emphasizing on not trying any self-medication- if anyone feels the symptoms.
There is an unapproved drug ordered from Australia which has proven to have cured similar virus when tested on humans and animals. Rest is all left on the chance to cure this deadly disease.
The antibody has presumably reached Delhi last night and is on its way to Kerala. Now, with the cell line on Indian soil – ICMR will begin the manufacturing process of the antibodies.
We wish that this virus end soon and and all the patients who are suffering from this right now recovers from it at the earliest. We hope that the Australian drug proves to be really beneficial.