India: Lockdown due to Nipah virus – Knowledge

The Nipah virus has broken out in India for the third time. After two people died in the south of the country, public life in the state of Kerala has largely come to a standstill. A ban on gatherings was imposed there and the schools were closed. At least five other people were killed, according to reports Times of India tested positive for the virus.

More than 700 people, including 150 health care workers, were isolated after coming into contact with infected people on Thursday. As with the Nipah outbreak in Kerala in 2018, the Kozhikode district is once again particularly affected. The neighboring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu now require tests from travelers from Kerala.

Nipah is a virus that is transmitted to humans from flying foxes, bats and pigs. The virus can also be passed on through contaminated food or through direct person-to-person contact. The virus has already been detected in Singapore, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

The symptoms are initially similar to the flu: fever, headache, cough and runny nose. In humans, an infection causes dangerous inflammation of the brain. The mortality rate is between 40 and 75 percent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no vaccine.

Politician and health expert KK Shailaja said the new outbreak was not as worrying as the previous one. “In 2018, it was a new virus for us and we had no experience in fighting such an infection. Now we have everything needed to contain it effectively,” Shailaja stressed. She was then the health minister of Kerala.

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