India Medical News: Southern Indian State Of Kerala That Currently Has The Highest Daily COVID-19 Infections Reports New Nipah Virus Outbreak!
India Medical News
: Kerala, an Indian Southern state has reported an outbreak of the Nipah Virus as it is still struggling with the COVID-19 crisis due to the fast spreading Delta variant.
In the last 24 hours alone, the Indian state of Kerala recorded a total of 19,688 new COVID-19 infections and 135 COVID-19 deaths.
Health and government authorities in Kerala quickly ramping up efforts to stop a potential Nipah Virus outbreak and are on high alert after a 12-year-old boy died of the rare virus on Sunday, spurring health officials to start contact-tracing and isolating hundreds of people who came into contact with the boy, who died at a hospital in the coastal city of Kozhikode.
In the last 12 hours, the state health minister Ms Veena George told media that so far samples of eight primary contacts have come back negative.
She said, "That these eight immediate contacts tested negative is a great relief.”
However local authorities from the coastal city of Kozhikode reported that the boy had been in contact with numerous individuals in the city he was from and many have yet to be isolated or even tested yet.
The Nipah Virus, which was first identified during a late 1990s outbreak in Malaysia, is a bat-borne virus that causes Nipah virus infection in humans and other animals and is a disease with a high mortality rate. Numerous disease outbreaks caused by Nipah virus have occurred in South and Southeast Asia.
The Nipah Virus can be spread by fruit bats, pigs and through human-to-human contact. There is no vaccine for the virus, which can cause raging fevers, convulsions and vomiting. The only treatment is supportive care to control complications and keep patients comfortable.
Scarily the virus has an estimated fatality rate of between 40% and 75%, according to the WHO, making it far more deadly than the coronavirus.
Kerala state authorities said that more samples will be tested on Tuesday and that a total of 48 contacts, including the eight that have tested negative, are being monitored at a hospital. Officials will also be carrying out door-to-door surveillance and identifying secondary contacts.
It was reported that over the weekend, the f
ederal government sent a team of experts to Kozhikode to help local officials trace contacts. They also suggested a list of recommendations, including bolstering health infrastructure in case of more cases and alerting neighboring districts.
This is not the first time that Kerala had a Nipah Virus outbreak. The state dealt with Nipah in 2018, when more than a dozen people died from the virus. This time around, the concern is compounded by the fact that the state has grabbed national headlines in recent weeks for seeing the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases across India.
While cases across the country have declined after a devastating surge earlier this year according to
n style="font-size:16px">India Medical News
, the situation in Kerala remains concerning, with experts warning that the state cannot let its guard down.
The outbreak is also of concern to the international community as the Delta variant had originally appeared in India but later quickly spread across the world due to lax restrictions by both the Indian government and also by governments of countries seeking the tourism dollar. (Although Indian tourists are basically not big spenders and in reality many are simply seeking jobs or are simply time wasters!)
It is also not entirely impossible that a scenario of co-infections with both the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the Nipah Virus could result in a reassortant strain that is far more virulent and potent emerging and thereafter spreading globally. After all countries like India, China, United States, United Kingdom and the African continent are famous for springing surprises in terms of new viral and pathogen mutations due to the lack of personal hygiene and ignorance. (It may come as a surprise to many that the U.S. and U.K are included in the list but many will be shocked by the behavior of a certain percentage of the population that are often termed as ‘white trash’ by their own!).
For more updates on the Nipah Virus
outbreak in Kerala, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.