After an outbreak in early September resulted in two fatalities, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that no new instances of the brain-damaging Nipah virus had been found in India as of September 15.
The Kozhikode district of Kerala had two fatalities and six laboratory-confirmed cases of the Nipah virus between September 12 and 15, according to the Union Health Ministry. The initial instance’s source of infection was unclear, however the subsequent cases were related to and hospitalized with the first case.
According to the WHO, there is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, and the mortality rate varies from 40% to 75%.
It has been determined that the virus discovered in Kerala is the Indian Genotype, or I-Genotype, and it is comparable to the strain discovered in Bangladesh. The Nipah virus has two recognized strains, one from Malaysia and the other from Bangladesh.
According to WHO, 1,288 contacts of the confirmed cases were found as of September 27. These contacts, which included high-risk contacts and healthcare professionals, were quarantined and monitored for 21 days.
It further said that 387 samples had been analyzed since September 12; 6 of those samples had tested positive for the Nipah virus, while all the others had tested negative. The WHO said that no new cases have been found since September 15.
The virus, which is lethal to both people and animals, is naturally hosted by fruit bats, but it may also transmit to humans via contact with sick bats and pigs. Human interaction is another way that it may spread.
The symptoms of the Nipah virus include headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, seizures, encephalitis (brain swelling), cough, sore throat, fever, disorientation, drowsiness, muscular pain, vomiting, and exhaustion.
According to the WHO, the virus typically takes four to 14 days to incubate, although it has been known to take up to 45 days. The state of Kerala imposed a 42-day double incubation period.
After spreading among numerous pig farms in Malaysia, the virus was first discovered in humans in 1998. According to the WHO, this is India’s sixth Nipah virus epidemic since 2001.
At least 17 individuals died in Kerala in 2018 after contracting the Nipah virus.