While the threat of the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) looms large, scientists from the Pune-based NIV. They have found the deadly Nipah virus antibodies in two species of bats in Maharashtra for the first time. The Nipah virus-carrying bats have found in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, according to NIV scientists. Nipah virus is on the watchlist of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s top 10 pathogens list. First identified in Malayasia in 1998-99 during an encephalitis-like outbreak. Among pigs and pig-handlers, the outbreak of the virus has occurred in countries like Bangladesh, Malaysia, India, and Singapore.
The Study of Nipah includes –
The study’s lead investigator Dr. Pragta Yadav said that none of the bat species in Maharashtra has earlier shown any exposure to the virus, according to media reports.
The death rate among the infected in documents outbreaks between 1998 to 2018 was 40 percent to 70 percent, according to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
India has seen four outbreaks of the virus infection so far. According to the reports, the first instance of the infection was in West Bengal’s Siliguri in 2001. The second incident was from Bengal’s Nadia in 2007. The third outbreak was in 2018 in Kerala’s Kozhikode when 18 people died of the infection.
The NIV Reports includes –
The NIV report says that antibodies of the Nipah virus are in the Dhubri district of Assam and Cooch Behar of West Bengal. The viral infection does not have treatment currently and it’s limited to supportive care, including rest, hydration, and treatment of symptoms, as per the CDC. Symptoms from the viral infection usually occur in 4-14 days of exposure. CDC says that symptoms may include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, vomiting. While severe symptoms may include disorientation, drowsiness, or confusion, seizures, coma, and brain swelling (encephalitis).
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