Photo Courtesy: MoHP
September 14: The Ministry of Health and Population has urged the public to remain alert regarding the possible risk of Nipah Virus (NIV) infection after its outbreak was reported in neighbouring India.
Spokesperson for the Ministry Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel informed in a press statement that the risk of the virus outbreak in Nepal cannot be ruled out as Nepal and India share open border.
According to the ministry, the infection of the deadly NIV is transmitted to humans from animals and then human- to- human. The virus has been detected in the Indian state of Kerala, the ministry said.
According to Spokesperson Poudel, although the virus has not been detected in Nepal so far, the risk remains considerable.
The Ministry informed that the fatality rate of NIV is 45 to 75 percent. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognizes NIV-caused illness as one of 10 deadly diseases in the world, the ministry said.
The statement further says that fruit bat is the natural host of the virus and it is transmitted to pig, cattle and then to humans.
“Nipah Virus infection is a zoonotic illness that is transmitted to people from animals, and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person-to-person,” the ministry said citing the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO has reportedly said there is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals affected by the new virus and has suggested supportive care as the primary treatment for humans.
The symptoms of the virus include fever, dizziness, headache, muscle pain, nausea, breathing complication and tonsillitis are the symptoms of NIV infection. The ministry say that the infection rate of NIV is relatively high.
The ministry has recommended people to properly clean fruits before consuming, eat only well-cooked vegetables, keep cowsheds and farms clean, use gloves and masks during animal slaughtering and cook meat, drink boiled water, wash hands with soap and water time and again and use mask in public as preventive measures against the virus.
The Ministry has urged one and all to promptly seek medical intervention in case of having the above mentioned symptoms.
The government has ensured of supportive care for the NIV-caused illness, the statement added.