In India, in the state of Kerala, a 12-year-old boy lost his life after contracting the Nipah virus. The state government is currently trying to prevent a possible epidemic, the Nipah virus being considered extremely deadly.
The disease caused by the Nipah virus is not as contagious as Covid-19, but this virus is among the deadliest to have ever infected humans. The latest outbreak caused by the virus in India has infected 18 patients of which 17 have died. The disease has an incubation period of 45 days and at present no vaccine or cure has yet been found to deal with it. The death rate is estimated at 75%, which means that even a small epidemic could pose a big threat to the entire population.
On the other hand, those who survive the infection have a 20% chance of developing long-term neurological symptoms.
Action was taken quickly
According to CBS, officials in the region are taking the situation very seriously. In order to avoid any spread, they have identified since Monday, September 6, all the people who have been in contact with the boy. In all, at least 188 people were identified and they were immediately tested and quarantined.
An area with a three-kilometer radius around the boy’s home has also been cordoned off to try and physically contain the outbreak in case everyone who has been in contact with him cannot be traced.
According to reports, so far two people are showing symptoms of Nipah virus infection. These are health workers who treated the young boy. They have been hospitalized and are currently awaiting the results of their test. It appears that other cases of infection have also been confirmed.
The destruction of the environment involved
With the emergence of more and more viruses that can infect humans, scientists are now worried that pandemics may become more common. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, said recently that humanity has entered an era of pandemics in which epidemics of the virus will only multiply, and Nipah is one of them.
One of the reasons Nipah keeps popping up in Southeast Asia is the destruction of the environment. Wild animals, including bat species believed to harbor the virus, are finding themselves increasingly in contact with humans following the loss of their natural habitats.
To avoid further cases of infection, authorities in Kerala have recommended that residents stay away from bats and avoid eating fruits with nibble marks left by these animals.