Nipah virus infections in India’s Kerala state rise to 5

Nipah virus infections in India’s Kerala state rise to 5

A bat virus deadlier than COVID has killed two people in India.
Kerala has issued a health alert.
This virus has symptoms similar to the Wuhan virus.
except it is deadlier.
much more deadlier.
Sometimes the fatality rate is well over 90%.
The name is the Nipah virus.
Some of you may have already heard about this.
but do you know how scary or deadly this virus is?
Take a moment and look at what’s happening
And Kerala.
At least two people have died and at least four others are suspected to be infected.
What do we know so far?
One patient died on the 30th of August.
another on the 11th of September.
That’s yesterday.
The relatives of both the diseased have been hospitalized.
They too
have Nipah-like symptoms.
We will get to the symptoms in a bit.
but what you should know
is that of the four relatives hospitalized.
at least one is critical.
And here’s what else we know so far.
Both the victims who died had come in contact.
The patient
who died yesterday met the first victim at a hospital.
They were together at the hospital
for nearly an hour.
As we speak.
some areas of Kozhikode have been put under surveillance.
These ones.
Ayancherry and Maruthankara.
Here’s what else you must note.
This is not the first
time that Nipah has been reported in India.
Kerala reported a Nipah outbreak back in 2018.
There were at least 18 confirmed cases back then.
17 of them died.
This one was in Changarot.
just 15 kilometers from the currently affected districts.
Nipah came back the following year.
At least one person was infected.
This was in Kerala’s Ernakulam district.
The virus resurfaced in 2021.
this time some 50 kilometers from Changarot.
Here in Shatmangalam.
a 12-year-old boy was infected.
He later died.
It is 2023 and two people have died already.
Should you be scared irrespective of whether or not you live in Kerala?
Let’s go back to the basics.
Nipah is like the Wuhan virus in more ways than one.
In terms of origin.
Nipah-2 is a zoonotic virus.
meaning it jumps from animals to humans
and can be transmitted from one human to another.
Point number two.
In the case of Nipah virus.
bats are considered to be the source of the virus yet again.
Fruit bats to be specific.
Three.
just like COVID.
Nipah-2 can infect other animals.
Dogs,cats,horses,pigs,sheep,Four,
like COVID.
Nipah symptoms can start showing as early as four days
of infection.
Now let’s talk about the symptoms.
Usually it begins with a fever.
A headache.
a cough.
sore throat.
like COVID.
Nipah-2 can result in shortness of breath or in breathing
difficulties.
These symptoms can last a couple of weeks.
The situation goes from bad to worse
the moment a patient develops encephalitis.
Now that is the medical term for a major swelling
in the brain.
Encephalitis comes with a fresh set of symptoms.
Drowsiness.
Disorientation.
mental confusion.
Remember brain fog?
And this is where things get scarier.
And that’s because
things progress fast and a patient usually lands in a coma within a day or two.
So should you be
worried?
I will point to what the World Health Organization says.
Nipah has a fatality rate of
anywhere between 40 and 75 percent.
But in 2019.
more than 90 percent of Kerala’s Nipah patients
died.
That’s a fatality of 90 plus percent.
It is very.
very scary.
And I can’t stress on this
enough.
Also.
there is no cure for the Nipah virus.
But what we have is scope for precaution.
Steps you can take to avoid infection.
avoid transmission.
You see.
Nipah is transmitted
from bats to humans.
also from person to person.
The first recorded outbreak of Nipah was in
Malaysia.
This was in the year 1999.
Soon Singapore was affected.
In 2001.
Bangladesh reported the
Nipah virus.
Soon India had a scare.
West Bengal was infected.
The virus resurfaced in the state
in 2017.
And the rest is history.
So what preventive measures can you take against Nipah?
Here too.
we must revisit the root of the problem.
You see.
bats are messy eaters.
At night.
they eat fruit and berries from the trees.
And often they drop partly eaten fruits to the ground.
These fruits are then contaminated with the bat’s spit.
If the bat is infected with the virus.
the bat’s saliva infects the fruit too.
Now imagine a pig.
a rabbit or any other animal
eats this fruit.
It ends up getting infected.
And then if a human eats that pig.
that human
gets infected too.
It’s the same if a human eats a fruit that has been tasted by an infected bat.
He or she then goes on to infect others.
So in terms of prevention.
it’s best to avoid fruits
that look questionable.
Also in general.
clean your fruits before eating.
Avoid fruit products
sourced from infected areas.
Same with farm products.
Stay away from areas that have reported
infections.
If you think you’ve come in contact with an infected person.
seek medical help
immediately.
I have a feeling some of you are thinking.
what happens if the chain reaction
spreads out of control?
What happens if the Nipah infections don’t stop at six?
What happens if the deaths don’t stop at two?
What happens if infections spread to other states?
Well.
chances are pandemic time regulations may then come back.
The restrictions on social
gathering.
social distancing.
infections.
It is a history we are better off not visiting.
Because if we do.
Nipah is likely to end up killing more.
killing more near and dear ones than the Wuhan virus did.

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