The recent outbreak of the rare and deadly Nipah virus has created a public scare. Here is all you need to know about the disease.
By Team ParentCircle
Manu has planned to visit Kerala in the last leg of the summer vacation with her family. But, even as she is packing, she is unnerved by the news surrounding Nipah virus. Deaths, fear and an uneasy calm everywhere. Nipah virus has struck and is hitting the state badly.
As the news about the Nipah virus and the deaths spreads, 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:
After two suspected cases were reported from Mangaluru, the Karnataka Health Department issued a circular to screen travellers from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala. Most of the Nipah virus deaths were reported from these two districts of Kerala. Travellers from these places will be screened for 18 days for flu-like symptoms.
Following the deaths in Kerala, the govt of Tamil Nadu has also issued travel advisories asking people to cancel or postpone visiting in and around Kozhikode district of Kerala.
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.
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