Nipah Scare in Kerala: Samples From 30 Bats and 3 Pigs From Thodupuzha Sent to NIV Pune for Tests
Nipah Virus (Photo Credits: PTI)

Kochi, June 10: After a 21-year-old youth was tested positive for the Nipah Virus in Kerala, the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune has collected three blood samples from pigs and about 30 samples from bats from Thodupuzha in Idukki district of the southern state. Usually it is the bats that spread the brain-dead Nipah virus. The natural hosts of the Nipah virus are fruit bats, while pigs are intermediate hosts.

The virus is spread either after a person eats bat-infected food, or has close contact with an infected person. In 2018, after 17 people were killed by the virus, 21 bats that were sent for test in the first batch, were negative. The second set of tests done on 55 fruit bats from Kozhikode confirmed that the nocturnal mammals were behind the spread. Nipah Virus Can Be Beaten By the Drug Used to Treat Ebola: Reports. 

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also claimed that  fruit bats were the source of Nipah virus which created havoc in Kerala. Last year, a total of 17 people were killed after being tested positive of the deadly brain-damaging Nipah virus (NiV). A total of 22 positive cases were reported from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts that created a huge scare last year. Nipah Virus: How Does the Infection Spread? What You Can Do to Prevent It.

The symptoms of the deadly Nipah infection are like flu symptoms- cough, fever, headache, body-ache, cold and then breathlessness. According to doctors, the symptoms of Nipah infection, swine flu and bird flu are similar, but there are several differences in how the diseases impact people and also in their treatment. The basic difference between the Nipah virus and swine flu is that for swine flu drugs and vaccines are available whereas for Nipah there is no treatment or anti viral medication.