Following an outbreak earlier in the month that resulted in two fatalities, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday that no new instances of the Nipah virus have been found in India since September 15.
According to the WHO, Nipah has no vaccination and a death rate that ranges from 40 to 75 percent.
Six laboratory-confirmed Nipah virus cases, including two fatal cases, were reported by India’s health ministry between September 12 and 15 in the southern state of Kerala’s Kozhikode district.
The WHO noted in an update on the outbreak that the other cases, with the exception of the first case, whose source of infection is unknown, were relatives and hospital contacts of the first.
The WHO reported that as of September 27, 1,288 contacts of the confirmed cases had been identified, including high-risk contacts and medical personnel who are being monitored and quarantined for 21 days.
According to the UN’s health agency, 387 samples have been analyzed since September 12; six of those samples were confirmed positive for Nipah virus infection. All other samples proved negative. It stated, “Since September 15, no new cases have been found.”
The virus’s native hosts are fruit bats. Contact with infected animals, such as pigs and bats, allows it to spread to humans. According to the WHO, nipah can also be acquired from an infected person, although this method is less typical.
According to the WHO, the incubation period, or the interval between infection and the development of symptoms, typically lasts four to 14 days but has occasionally gone as long as 45 days.
Severe cases can entail seizures and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can put a person in a coma. Other symptoms include a high temperature, vomiting, and a respiratory infection.
In 1998, the virus was discovered for the first time after it spread among Malaysian pig breeders.
According to the WHO, this is India’s sixth Nipah virus outbreak since 2001.
At least 17 people in Kerala died in 2018 after contracting the virus. Nipah is one of the priority diseases listed by the WHO as posing “the greatest public health risk due to their epidemic potential” and when “no or insufficient countermeasures” are available.