South of IndiaThe state of Kerala had to take drastic measures on Wednesday to curb the spread of the epidemic. Nipah virus, a rare and fatal disease that has already killed two people. In a desperate attempt to take control of the situation, Some schools, workplaces and public transportation in the area were closed.


More than 130 people were tested for the virus, while one adult and one child remained hospitalized. According to a state health official, This virus is transmitted through contact with body fluids from bats, pigs, or infected people.

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State Health Minister Veena George said: “We are focusing on quickly tracing the contacts of infected people and isolating those showing symptoms.”

Additionally, George informed reporters that the virus detected in Kerala is a Bangladeshi variant that has a high mortality rate in humans, but has proven to be less contagious compared to other strains.

As part of the measures taken against this medical crisis, movement restrictions have been imposed in certain parts of the state.

Two deaths have been recorded in Kerala since August 30, the fourth virus outbreak since 2018. As a result, authorities had to declare containment zones in at least seven villages in Kozhikode district.

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Strict insulation standards applied and Healthcare personnel who were in contact with infected people were quarantined.

The first fatal case was a man engaged in agriculture in Marutonkara village. Authorities are tracking his movements to identify all the people he interacted with and the places he visited before his health deteriorated.

The dead man’s daughter and brother-in-law were also infected and are under observation in the isolation ward. Meanwhile, other family members and neighbors are also being tested for possible infections.

Although the second death is suspected to be related to hospital contact with the first victim, preliminary investigations have not established a direct link between the two cases, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak. with the media.

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On Wednesday, three federal teams, including experts from the National Institute of Virology, arrived on site to conduct additional testing and Study the population of fruit bats in isolated villages.

Nipah virus was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers and people in close contact with the animals in Malaysia and Singapore. Outbreaks of this disease occur occasionally, and in the past infections in South Asia were associated with consumption of oil palm sap contaminated with bat feces.

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The first Nipah outbreak in Kerala in 2018 resulted in the deaths of 21 out of 23 people infected, while outbreaks in 2019 and 2021 killed two more people.

Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus. It is transmitted mainly from animals to humans. and sometimes from person to person or through contaminated food. It was first identified in 1998 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

An investigation conducted by ‘Reuters’ agency in May attracted attention Kerala has one of the highest risks worldwide for bat-borne virus outbreaksDue to intense deforestation and urbanization that brings humans and wildlife into close contact.

Symptoms of Nipah virus infection range from asymptomatic to severe respiratory disease or fatal encephalitis.

Initial symptoms include fever, headache, myalgia, vomiting, and sore throat. This is followed by neurological symptoms and acute encephalitis. In some cases, atypical pneumonia and serious breathing problems may occur.

The estimated mortality rate ranges from 40% to 75%, depending on local capacity for epidemiological surveillance and clinical care.

*This content was prepared with the help of artificial intelligence, based on information published by La Nación, and reviewed by a journalist and editor.


Source: Exame

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