Written by Team ParentCircle and published on 23 July 2021.
The recent outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus in Kerala is creating a scare again. Efforts are underway to contain it. Here is all you need to know about the disease.
Manu has plans to visit Kerala to spend some time with his grandparents in Ernakulam. But, even as he is packing, the Kerala Govt has confirmed one case of the Nipah Virus infection. Last year, the virus had claimed the lives of 17 people in Kerala alone. It created quite a public scare, as deaths, fear and an uneasy calm engulfed the whole of Kerala.
In a relief to the Kerala State govt and concerned authorities, there are no fresh report of the virus. The Nipah threat in Kerala has eased.
It began with a 23-year-old student from Ernakulam, Kerala, testing positive for the deadly Nipah virus. The Kerala Govt health department officials confirmed the news of the Nipah Virus infection after the student's serum samples came back positive from the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, had assured that there was no need to panic as all steps were being taken to prevent the spread of disease.
Reportedly, the young student who was tested positive for the Nipah virus is recovering well. To curb the spread of infection, people who had come in contact with the infected student continue to remain under observation until safe clearance. Probe into the source of the virus is still going on. It is believed to have originated from fruit bats.
As the news about the Nipah virus is hitting the headlines again, many are curious to know about the virus, how it spreads and what to do to prevent it. Our research team, in association with top experts, gives you all the information you need. Read on...
ParentCircle talks to Dr Vikrant Shah, consulting physician, intensivist and infectious diseases specialist, Zen Multi Speciality Hospital, Mumbai to know details about the disease and ways to prevent its spread.
He says, "Isolation is the key to contain the spread of the virus. Once a person shows the symptoms, keep him in isolation and seek immediate medical help. There is no approved therapy for this infection. Prevention is the only cure!"
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main symptoms of the disease are:
Dr Shah informs that the diagnosis of the disease is done by a test named ELISA which is currently available at the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
The Nipah virus can spread from the infected animal to a person. The infected person can spread the disease to other people through contact. For example, if a person eats a fruit which is already bitten by an infected bat, the virus will travel to the person eating that fruit. Other people who come into close contact with the infected person are at higher risk to get the virus.
Dr Shah shares that the following people are at higher risk from the virus:
As the condition of the patient deteriorates rapidly, infected patients require intensive care monitoring. However, symptoms of the Nipah virus infection like nausea, vomiting and convulsions can be treated with the antiviral medicine Ribavirin, also known as tribavirin. It is approved by The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in respiratory viral infection.
Watch the video to understand how our immune system works.
Looking for expert tips and interesting articles on parenting? Subscribe now to our magazine. Connect with us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube