Medicine

Madhya Pradesh issues advisory on Nipah virus

Madhya Pradesh issues advisory on Nipah virus

One more death has been reported in India's Nipah virus outbreak, and today the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced a $25 million collaboration with two pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine against the disease, one of the group's priority diseases.

About 160 samples were sent for tests to the National Virology Institute (NVI) Pune and 15 cases tested positive, health department sources said.

Meanwhile, the state government has made a decision to send five doctors of KMC to Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi for expert training to deal with Nipah outbreak.

The virus, the World Health Organization says, was first identified during a disease outbreak in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998. Authorities have now made a decision to conduct more tests to locate its source.

Earlier on Saturday, according to a report submitted by a central medical team to the Health Ministry, samples collected from bats in Kerala's Kozhikode and Malappuram districts tested negative for the virus.

The Kerala High Court on Thursday asked the state government to submit the measures it took to prevent rumours with regard to Nipah virus.

Officials suspect the zoonosis infection outbreak-that causes disease in both animals and humans-spread from the unused well at Moosa's home where the dead bats were found. In 2004, humans were infected as a result of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats. However, their samples later tested negative. More worryingly, doctors found that the virus could spread among humans via contact with infected patients.

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The natural host of the Nipah virus are bats from the Pteropodidae family, but it can be transferred to humans through infected bodily fluids.

Although the risk of getting infected with the virus from bats and pigs are low in Bhutan, Dr Karma Lhazeen said the risk is in people travelling in and out of the affected places.

In India the disease was first reported in eastern West Bengal state in 2001.

The Union wellbeing service has said the infection has not spread past Kerala.

Headache, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, fever (lasts up-to four to five days) and confusion are some of the common signs and symptoms of the deadly disease.

The WHO also states that most people make full recoveries from the disease, but 20 percent of survivors face a lifetime of neurological consequences such as seizures and personality changes.