“We have sent a team of experts to Kerala to further evaluate the situation and assist the state government to deal with it,” Mandaviya said.
Authorities in Kerala have dealt with the dreaded virus in the past. One hopes that the experience is put to good use and the virus is contained again.
The deadly brain-damaging Nipah virus, which is transmitted to humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected bats, pigs or other people, was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak of illness affecting pig farmers and others in close contact with pigs in Malaysia and Singapore. “In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (sub-clinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis,” it says.
Nearly 40% to 75% of people affected by the disease succumb to it. According to studies, several cases of the infection have been recorded from India, Malaysia, Singapore and Bangladesh over the past two decades. In 2018, Kerala witnessed an outbreak of the infection which led to the loss of 17 lives. In 2021 also, Nipah virus infection was detected in the coastal state.