ICMR confirms presence of Nipah virus in bats in Kerala's Wayanad
Nipah virus can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected animals (particularly fruit bats or flying foxes), their bodily fluids, or consumption of contaminated raw date palm sap.
Thiruvananthapuram: Health Minister Veena George on Wednesday (Oct 25) informed that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed the presence of Nipah virus in bats in Wayanad district. The ICMR informed that the presence of the virus had been confirmed in bats in Bathery and Mananthavadi areas. The health minister cautioned the health workers to be cautious and follow the warnings. The focus is on general vigilance rather than specific areas. The minister also informed that they should be alert for the symptoms of the disease.
George also said that the Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode was controlled through collective action. The 42-day incubation period ends tomorrow and no new cases have been reported in the district.
Six cases including two deaths of Nipah virus infection were reported in August and September 2023. Both of the fatalities occurred in the state's Kozhikode district, one earlier in September and the other on August 30. Two family members of one of the victims additionally tested positive for the virus and were given treatment in a hospital.
The Nipah virus infection is an emerging zoonotic illness of bats that can infect humans when they come into contact with infected animals (such as bats and pigs) or food contaminated by the saliva, urine, or excreta of these animals.