Himachal Pradesh issues advisory on Nipah scare

Himachal Pradesh: In the wake of the of Nipah Virus scare in Kerala, which claimed the lives of 11 people so far, Himachal Pradesh health ministry issued an advisory on Thursday.

According to the advisory, consumers of fruits that are bitten by bats, farmers who come in contact with bats, people consuming and working with pigs and people who are in contact with people affected by the virus, are at high risk of getting affected.

Hence preventions like avoiding contact with pigs and pig handlers, maintaining personal hygiene, avoiding consumption of raw fruits, should be taken.

It also said that sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle pain and vomiting are the early symptoms of the virus.

The advisory further stated, supportive and symptomatic care is the key to the treatment as there is no approved specific therapy for this, adding that infected patients may require intensive care monitoring in isolation.

On that note, more than 18 dead bats were discovered on Wednesday in the premises of a government school in Himachal Pradesh’s Nahan, triggering a panic among locals.

State Health Minister Vipin S Parmar, speaking on the same, said, “Chief Medical Officers and task force of the health department are alert and prepared. Samples of bats that were found dead in Nahan have been sent for tests. The report will be out soon.”

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS for Health, also said, “Samples of dead bats have been sent for testing to ascertain the reason behind their deaths. Without laboratory reports, it cannot be said that these bats have been killed by Nipah virus.”

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also issued an advisory on Thursday for the general public and healthcare personnel on how to take preventive measures in high-risk areas and how the Nipah virus spreads and what are its symptoms.

The ministry advised the public to avoid consuming raw date palm sap or toddy, half-eaten fruits from the ground and refrain from entering into abandoned wells and eat only washed fruits.

It informed that handling of bodies of those who died due to the disease should be done in accordance with the government advisory and that during this emotional moment traditional rituals and practices may need to be modified to prevent the exposure of family members to the disease.

So far, the rare and deadly virus has claimed 11 lives in Kerala. The state’s health department has issued an advisory for people travelling to the state. It has urged travellers to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts.

Taking cognizance of the issue, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda has also directed to constitute a team of six doctors to probe the occurence of the virus. (ANI)