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Nipah Virus

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

After a gap of over three years, a case of the zoonotic Nipah virus infection has been reported in Kozhikode district of Kerala.

What measures are being taken to control the spread of the virus?

A contact list of 188 persons, a majority of them healthcare workers, has been prepared. Symptomatic persons will be shifted to hospital.

 

Need of the hour:

At a time when there is a relentless surge in Covid-19 infections in Kerala, accounting for a lion’s share of the nationwide case load, the return of the dreaded Nipah virus to the State is a cause for major concern.

  • This is the time for the Centre and the State government to take up containment measures with mutual trust and coordination.
  • There are urgent steps that need to be taken jointly, including contact tracing, quarantine, isolation, collection, and transportation of samples for lab testing and a detailed study of the surrounding areas by the National Centre for Disease Control from an epidemiological standpoint.

 

What is Nipah?

  • It is a zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans).
  • It first broke out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.
  • It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.

Spread:

  • The virus is transmitted to people from animals and can also be passed on through contaminated food or directly from person-to-person.
  • Fruit bats are considered to be a natural reservoir of the virus.

Symptoms:

Symptoms include acute encephalitis and respiratory illnesses.

Prevention:

Currently, there are no vaccines for both humans and animals. Intensive supportive care is given to humans infected by Nipah virus.

 

Insta Curious:

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InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Virus.
  2. Spread.
  3. Symptoms.
  4. Prevention.

Mains Link:

Write a note on one health approach.

Sources: the Hindu.