Nipah scare: No need to panic; adopt good hygiene practices | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Nipah scare: No need to panic; adopt good hygiene practices – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

Health

Nipah scare: No need to panic; adopt good hygiene practices

Published

on

NIPAH VIRUS

New Delhi, May 26: Simple good hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing and cooking food properly before consuming can help you avoid contracting the brain-damaging Nipah virus which has claimed 12 lives in Kerala till now and led to quarantining of at least 40 others, health experts suggest.

The Nipah virus is a zoonotic disease that is naturally transmitted from vertebrate animals to humans, while human-to-human transmission has also been documented.

First identified among pig farmers in Malaysia, the disease also surfaced in Siliguri, West Bengal, in 2001 and again in 2007.

Historically, the virus had largely remained in a cluster, meaning it was mostly confined to an area, and affected those that came in close contact to the patients, the experts said.

The latest outbreak in India has so far affected mainly four districts of Kerala — Kozhikode, and its neigbouring districts of Malappuram, Kannur and Wayanad. People in other states do not have much to worry, unless they need to travel to the affected areas, or come in contact with someone who has contracted the virus.

“All the previous such epidemics were reported to be in clusters and historical evidence shows no simultaneous outbreaks,” Vidya Menon, Clinical Professor at the Department of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, told IANS.

“So people who come in close contact of the patients are usually the ones who acquire the disease. If that contact group increases or travel to other places, the disease is likely to spread,” Menon said.

Nipah virus can be transmitted by infected pigs, or by fruit bats, through their secretions of saliva, urine or faeces.
The other mode of transmission is human to human, through body secretions and respiratory secretions.

Contracting Nipah causes an upper respiratory infection, leading to fever, body ache, breathlessness and cough.

“There is no need to panic, but if you have symptoms similar to this or if you have visited the state recently, visit a doctor at the earliest,” Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant – Internal Medicine at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, told IANS.

Depending upon the exposure to the virus, it can also proceed to further complication like Encephalitis — inflammation of the brain. This can result in mental confusions and deteriorate to coma.

“The progression is very severe. While the incubation period is long for some, on an average in 90 per cent of cases, the disease manifests itself within two weeks of exposure to the virus,” Menon said.

“Those infected should be isolated for at least 10-15 days, till the virulence of the virus settles and our immune system also starts fighting,” Vikas Maurya, Head of Department – Pulmonolgy, Fortis Hospital – Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi, told IANS.

There is no real treatment but supportive care is given to the affected patients, which means treating the symptoms differently.

“For example, people suffering from fever are treated for it, for those with breathlessness support is provided to them with artificial ventilators, and for those with seizures or convulsions anti-epileptic drugs are given as a support to the brain,” Menon said.

The Kerala government has now recommended using Ribavarin — an anti-viral — as a life-saving measure. It is not a proven treatment, but it is approved because of a few studies that have proved the anti-viral’s benefits.

“Beginning Thursday, the Kerala government has recommended using Ribavarin — an anti-viral — but only in proven cases,” Menon said.

Lauding the efforts by the government officials, Menon said, “The situation seems to be under control, the state public health department has done a remarkable job in containing the disease so far. There is no need to panic.”

Besides maintaining hygiene, the experts suggested to avoid eating fruits that has any paw marks on it or is contaminated. Food should be properly cooked before consuming.

Restricting mobility to and fro to the affected areas can curtail the virus up to some extent, Chatterjee suggested.

“If you are travelling to the infected area, use a general mask. While coughing close your mouth with a handkerchief or cough on your sleeve, wash hands properly, and maintain hygiene,” Menon said.

(Rachel V. Thomas can be contacted at [email protected] )

Disaster

WHO Board to get 1st update from Covid panel on Oct 5-6, report next year

A diplomat said it is improbable that the independent panel set up by the WHO would be severely critical of the WHO’s handling of the disease in context of China

Published

on

Xi Jinpin and UN Chief

The independent panel on Covid-19 announced by World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in July will submit its first update to the world body’s executive board at its meeting on 5-6 October.

The panel was set up at the World Health Assembly against the backdrop of sharp criticism aimed at the WHO chief and Beijing for their handling of the contagious virus that is believed to have originated in China’s Wuhan. Beijing locked down domestic travel in the early weeks of the infection but allowed flights to freely leave the country, spreading virus across the globe.

At last count, John Hopkins University tracker of Covid-19 infections across the world indicates the virus has infected more than 31 million people worldwide and almost killed a million people. China, from where the disease started late last year, has reported only a small proportion of infections, less than even Oman’s 95,000 cases. The United States and India are among those hit hardest.

The US had led the demand for an independent review of WHO’s response that was seen to have let Beijing guide its hand in the early days of the pandemic. At the UN General Assembly this week, Donald Trump – who pulled out the US from the world health body over its handling of the disease – lashed out at China again and asked the UN to hold China “accountable” for unleashing “this plague” on the world.

Diplomats in New Delhi and Geneva, however, suggest that this is unlikely to happen. One of them said it was improbable that the independent panel – co-chaired by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – would be critical of the WHO’s handling of the disease in context of China.

Already, Tedros and the independent panel have made it clear that the exercise was not a fault-finding exercise but an effort to improve the world’s response to the next pandemic.

“While we are clear that The Independent Panel must shed light on what has happened and why, this exercise is not a blame game” said Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Co-Chair of the Panel at its first meeting last week, according to an official statement.

The panel’s co-chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said she hoped their report would lead to “bold, credible, robust and implementable solutions that ensure our world is better prepared for the next pandemic”.

The panel is scheduled to submit its final report before the next World Health Assembly (WMA) in May next year but will come up with regular updates for other meetings. Like when the WHO’s top policy-making body, the WMA, resumes its meeting on 9-14 November.

The US isn’t part of the panel. Preeti Sudan, a retired civil servant who was India’s Union health secretary when the coronavirus disease broke out, is a member of the WHO panel.

China has sent Zhong Nanshan, the pulmonologist who is credited by Chinese media for having spearheaded the country’s fight against the outbreak of a new coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Continue Reading

Cities

Sisodia’s Condition Stable, To Undergo Second Covid-19 Test Soon

Manish Sisodia was admitted to the LNJP Hospital on Wednesday.

Published

on

By

Manish Sisodia

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party Leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, currently undergoing treatment for Covid-19, is stable and he will be administered another Coronavirus test in a couple of days, officials said on Thursday.

He was admitted to the LNJP Hospital on Wednesday after he had contracted the infection.

“He is in ICU since yesterday, but his condition is stable. The minister has been put on oxygen support as per requirement, and is under constant observation,” a senior doctor of the hospital said. “The Deputy CM will be administered an RT-PCR test in a couple of days,” the doctor added. Asked if the minister has any co-morbidities, the doctor said, “he has hypertension.”

The 48-year-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was admitted to the hospital after he complained of fever and low oxygen levels. In a video message, Sisodia praised the efforts made by doctors at the LNJP hospital.

“I have been brought to the LNJP Hospital after a need was felt for it. But, seeing the spirit with which the doctors and other healthcare workers are serving patients, I must say, as a deputy chief minister, it is very encouraging,” he said. The minister also said that he was proud of the health workers serving in the hospital. “It is a wonderful facility here and I am very proud of them. If you need any medical attention in this coronavirus time, LNJP is ready to serve you,” the minister said.

Sisodia had tested positive for COVID-19 on September 14 and was in home isolation. “He (Sisodia) was admitted to the hospital as a precautionary measure since he was continuously having a little higher body temperature and his oxygen level dropped slightly,” a senior official said on Wednesday.

Sisodia was unable to attend the one-day Delhi Assembly session on September 14 since he had tested positive for the disease. He is the second Cabinet minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government to contract COVID-19 infection after Health Minister Satyendar Jain. The health minister had tested positive for COVID-19 in June and was hospitalized. He was later administered plasma therapy.

Continue Reading

Health

Ex-Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi in ICU after drop in oxygen level

Tarun Gogoi had tested coronavirus positive last month.

Published

on

tarun gogoi

Veteran Congress leader and former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi was on Thursday admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), following a drop in his oxygen saturation level. He had tested coronavirus positive last month.

According to reports, the 85-year-old, who was admitted at a private cabin of the hospital, was shifted to ICU to monitor him effectively. His condition is stated to be stable now.

“Visited the new ICU of GMCH to see ex-CM Tarun Gogoi, enquired about his health and prayed to God for his speedy recovery,” Assam Congress unit president Ripun Bora tweeted after visiting GMCH on Thursday.

Gogoi, who was CM for three consecutive terms from 2001 till 2016, was tested as Covid-19 positive on August 26, following which he was admitted to GMCH. The Assam government constituted an eight-member team of doctors to monitor his health parameters regularly.

There was a sudden drop in oxygen saturation level on August 31, but it again returned to normal after immediate intervention of doctors.

Gogoi was tested negative for Covid-19 last week, but has been staying at GMCH till his health recovers completely.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Data

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.