The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that India has not identified any new cases of the Nipah virus since September 15. Previously, there was an outbreak that resulted in two deaths in the country.
Between September 12 and 15, India’s health ministry confirmed six cases of Nipah virus in Kozhikode district, located in the southern state of Kerala. Sadly, two of these cases resulted in fatalities.
As of September 27, authorities have traced 1,288 contacts of the confirmed cases, including high-risk contacts and healthcare workers, who are currently in quarantine and undergoing 21-day monitoring, as reported by AFP and cited by the WHO.
During this period, health officials have conducted tests on 387 samples. Out of these, six cases tested positive for Nipah virus infection, while all other samples returned negative results. The WHO also noted that no new cases have been detected since September 15.
It’s important to highlight that there is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, and it has a fatality rate that can range from 40 to 75 percent.
The Nipah virus originates from fruit bats and can be potentially fatal to both humans and animals. It was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers and others with close contact with animals in Malaysia and Singapore.
Human transmission can occur from infected people through close physical contact, particularly through contact with bodily fluids. Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, and a sore throat. In more advanced stages, it can lead to severe respiratory problems, encephalitis, seizures, and even coma within 24 to 48 hours.
The incubation period for the virus varies from four to 14 days but can extend up to 45 days. While most survivors fully recover from acute encephalitis, approximately 20 percent may experience lingering neurological issues such as seizures and personality changes.