The country is on a high alert due to the outbreak of a newly-emerging Nipah virus. The infection was first observed in Kerala where it claimed almost 10 lives. According to latest reports, the panic of this deadly virus has spread to Himachal Pradesh where 18 bats have been found dead in a government school. Clearly, there is a great panic lurking among the people of India, especially those who are currently residing in the endemic regions.
What makes Nipah a deadly virus?
The Nipah Virus infection (NiV) has zoonotic pathogens which mean, the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans. Also, they have emerged as viruses capable of causing severe illness, and in many cases, death.
Several outbreaks have happened since the virus was first identified in 1999, at Malaysia. To date, it has reportedly consumed the lives of as many as 1000+ human beings and countless animals, especially pigs.
Another reason that makes this virus deadly is that there is No Antidote developed yet.
How to keep your family protected from Nipah virus?
Avoid contact with animals
Animals like pigs, bats, etc., have been considered as the originator of the disease. Avoid contact with these animals as well as steer clear of the rest of the animals as well. Pets should be prevented from going outside.
Stay away from these fruits for some time
Fruits are an important part of our diet and they are not easy to let go. However, consuming them this season can prove to be more dangerous instead of being healthy. The reason being Fruit Bats, who have been identified as one of the primary carriers of the virus. Fruit bats mostly survive on fruit juice and nectar obtained from trees or flowers. Generally, they will chew the fruit a little bit, spit out the seeds, and eat the pulp. Say ‘No” to fruits like Mango, Dates, Banana, etc., which are often eaten by these nocturnal creatures.
Stay away from all fruits for some time
“But why?” While not every fruit is considered dangerous, it is better to give them up for some time. It is currently the season of mangoes and they are being produced in bulk. Hence, chances are high that they will be getting mixed up with other fruits during transportation. If there is any infected fruit, it will have the tendency to infect the entire bunch.
Take fever seriously
Fever is the first symptom of this infection, which progresses to headaches, drowsiness, and confusion. It takes typically 2 weeks for the virus to start showing these symptoms. If anyone is showing these warning signs, have the person admitted to the right hospital or care center immediately.
Ensure that your food and drink is clean
– Soak vegetables in hot water before preparing them
– Ditch that purifier for some time and rely on water boiled the traditional way
– Keep your kitchen clean and disinfected
– Prevent from eating non-vegetarian food items
– Stop eating outside for the time being
Make use of protective gears like gloves, breathing masks
Wear gloves and breathing masks if you are someone who takes public transport or works somewhere where the crowd is imminent. The infection mainly crosses by touch so gloves are the most important; although the disease is not airborne, wearing a breathing mask is considered safe.
Understand Nipah Virus
There is no vaccine for this killer virus yet, and therefore, prevention is the only cure available right now. Educate yourself and your family members about the infection as much as you can. Here are a few characteristics of the virus:
Needs touch to spread;
Can be transmitted through contact, particularly saliva;
Touching an infected animal – pig, bat, cow – will contact the virus too;
The virus has been identified by WHO as something capable of reaching epidemic proportions and has therefore developed a plan for urgent research to find possible cure.