The Delhi government has issued an advisory on Nipah virus asking people to avoid "unnecessary" travel to Kerala. The advisory issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Thursday said that no incidence of the virus has been reported from the Capital.
"There was a lot of buzz on the social media regarding the virus. People were panicking after reading about the virus. So, we thought we should have an advisory for the people of Delhi," said Kirti Bhushan, DGHS.
The death toll due to Nipah virus in the state rose to 15, with a 28-year-old man succumbing to the deadly virus in Kerala on Thursday. The outbreak in Kerala has, so far, affected mainly four districts — Kozhikode, and its neigbouring districts of Malappuram, Kannur and Wayanad.
The Nipah virus (NiV) infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to the acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It was first identified in 1998 at Kampung Sungai Nipah village, Malaysia. The virus is named after this village.
In the advisory, the DGHS said that the infection, spread from animals to humans, "can happen through infected bats by their bite or indirectly by consuming fruits contaminated by their saliva, close contact with infected pigs or patient of Nipah virus infection".
People "having a viral fever like symptoms with neck rigidity" have been asked to report to a health care facility immediately and also asked not to self-medicate.
"Nipah Virus disease is not a major outbreak and only local occurrence limited to few districts in Kerala," the advisory said, adding that "no human infection of Nipah Virus has been reported in Delhi till date".
The symptoms of Nipah are similar to that of influenza: fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems. Inflammation of the brain can also cause disorientation. Late onset of Encephalitis can also occur. Sometimes a person can have an asymptomatic infection, and be a carrier of Nipah and not show any symptoms.
SYMPTOMS OF NIPAH
The symptoms of Nipah are similar to that of influenza: fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems. Inflammation of the brain can also cause disorientation.