Nipah Virus: Schools, Colleges Closed in Kerala
Amid the Nipah virus outbreak scare in Kerala, all educational institutions in the state's Kozhikode district will remain shut
An alert was sounded in Kerala last week after two "unnatural" deaths at a private hospital. It was suspected to be caused by the Nipah virus (NiV). This is the third instance of a NiV outbreak in the state, which earlier saw cases in 2018 and 2021.
So far, six cases of the Nipah virus have been reported in the state including a 9 year old boy. However, there have been only 2 deaths. More than 1200 people were tested which included all those who came in contact with the positive cases. However, Kerala has not reported any fresh cases of Nipah virus infection. Amid the Nipah virus outbreak scare in Kerala, all educational institutions in the state's Kozhikode district have been asked to remain shut and conduct online classes during the closure.
What is the Nipah Virus? Is it like the Coronavirus? The Nipah virus is a disease transmitted to humans from animals. The virus reportedly originates from fruit bats causing severe disease and can be fatal to humans and animals. Its symptoms include respiratory illness, dizziness, vomiting, and headache and fatal encephalitis. The infection spreads through direct contact with infected animals or their secretions or by consuming contaminated water or food. Even though there are no specific remedies against the infection, the WHO recommends isolating and treating infected individuals in a hospital setting and practicing good hygiene. However, one can take precautions to protect themselves from it. These include avoiding the consumption of fruits that have fallen on the ground, refraining from feeding pigs, and keeping fruit bats away.