uthorities are working to contain an outbreak of the deadly and contagious Nipah virus in a village in Kerala, India, which led to the death of a 12-year-old boy on Sunday.
Fruit bats, which are also known as flying foxes, are the natural hosts of the virus, and an infection can spread from animals to humans, from humans to humans, and through the consumption of contaminated food, such as fruit.
NEW DELHI —
The southern Indian state of Kerala is quickly ramping up efforts to stop a potential outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus, even as the state continues to battle the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Kerala is on high alert after a 12-year-old boy died of the rare virus Sunday. Health officials have started contact tracing and isolating hundreds of people who came into contact with the boy, who died at a hospital in the coastal city of Kozhikode.
The Nipah virus, which was first identified during a late 1990s outbreak in Malaysia, can be spread by fruit bats, pigs and human-to-human contact. There is no vaccine for the virus, which can cause raging fevers, convulsions and vomiting. The only treatment is supportive care to control complications and keep patients comfortable.
Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus that can be transmitted from animals to humans. It was first discovered in 1999 after an outbreak in Malaysia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 1999 outbreak resulted in nearly 300 human cases and more than 100 deaths. This outbreak also affected Singapore. Nipah virus can also transmit through contaminated food or from an infection. It is not an airborne infection but can severely affect humans as well animals. This virus is highly contagious in pigs, states The World Health Organisation (WHO).
New Delhi — Authorities in India’s southern Kerala state are racing to contain an outbreak of the Nipah virus. The virus, which is not related to the coronavirus behind the current global pandemic and is far more deadly, killed a 12-year-old boy in Kerala over the weekend, prompting stepped-up efforts to trace his contacts. New infections have been confirmed.
The boy was admitted to a hospital a week ago with high fever. As his condition worsened and doctors suspected inflammation of his brain (encephalitis), his blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology, where tests confirmed a Nipah infection. He died early on Sunday.
12-year-old boy with fever came to a hospital in Kerala’s Kozhikode on September 1. The boy had already visited two hospitals but treatments were not successful. He was clinically diagnosed with encephalitis, the brain fever. Doctors sent his samples to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, Maharashtra. The NIV confirmed it was an infection of NiV, that is, Nipah virus.