6th September, 2021 Health
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- After a gap of over three years, a case of the zoonotic Nipah virus infection was reported in Kozhikode district of Kerala, with the death of a 12-year-old boy from Pazhoor, near Chathamangalam, at a private hospital.
- The virus is transmitted to people from animals and can also be passed on through contaminated food or directly from person-to-person.
- Fruit bats are considered to be a natural reservoir of the virus.
- In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.
- The virus can also cause severe disease in animals such as pigs, resulting in significant economic losses for farmers.
- There are currently no drugs or vaccines specific for Nipah virus infection although WHO has identified Nipah as a priority disease for the WHO Research and Development Blueprint.