Pune, June 23: Scientist from Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) have detected Nipah virus in two species of bats in Maharashtra. This is first time that bats in Maharashtra were found infected with Nipah virus. The detection of Nipah virus in bats has raised alarms in Maharashtra because there is no cure for the potential fatal infection caused by it. Delta Plus, New COVID-19 Variant, Identified; Here's What We Know So Far About Its Spread and Virulence.
The scientists found Nipah virus in 33 leschenaultii and 1 Pipistrellus bats
trapped from a cave in Mahableshwar in Satara district of Maharashtra in March last year. According to a TOI report, they trapped 65 leschenaultii and 15 pipistrellus bats and collected blood, throat and rectal swabs for research. This came to light after the findings were published recently in the peer-reviewed and indexed "Journal of Infection and Public Health".
"In investigations during the last decade, NiV (Nipah) activity could not be detected in leschenaultia bats, despite processing several hundred bats, including bats from the same location," the research paper reads. What Is Orthocoronavirinae? Know the Meaning, Origin and Sections of the Subfamily the Novel Coronavirus Is a Part Of.
What Is Nipah Virus?
According to US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus, meaning it initially spreads between animals and can transmit to humans. The animal host reservoir for NiV is the fruit bat, also known as the flying fox. The virus can transmit to humans if a person remains in close contact with an infected animal or its body fluids (such as saliva or urine) Once it spreads to people, person-to-person spread of NiV can also occur.
Nipah Virus in India:
Nipah virus was first discovered in 1999 in Malaysia. India has witnessed four Nipah virus outbreak since then. The first outbreak took place in West Bengal's Silliguri district in 2001. In 2007, Nadia district of West Bengal reported Nipah virus outbreak. Kerala's Kozhikhode witnessed the outbreak twice first in 2018 and then in 2019.
Nipah Virus Symptoms, Fatality Rate:
At initial stage, a person infected with Nipah virus may experience fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing and vomiting. In severe cases, disorientation, seizures, coma and brain swelling may happen. Death may occur in 40-75% of cases.
- Practice handwashing regularly with soap and water
- Avoid contact with sick bats or pigs
- Avoid areas where bats are known to roost
- Avoid consumption of raw date palm sap
- Avoid consumption of fruits that may be contaminated by bats
- Avoid contact with the blood or body fluids of any person known to be infected with NiV
Nipah Infection Treatment:
There is no medicine or vaccine to prevent Nipah virus infection. According to the CDC, treatment is limited to supportive care, including rest, hydration, and treatment of symptoms as they occur.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 23, 2021 08:28 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).