KATHMANDU, Sept 13: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has urged people across the country to remain vigilant against Nipah virus infection. The ministry has urged people to be vigilant as this type of virus can be spread in Nepal as well.
Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel, spokesperson at the MoHP, said that people have been asked to remain vigilant as the border with India is open and this new virus could spread in Nepal as well. The Indian state of Kerala has recorded Nipah virus infection a few days ago.
According to Dr Poudel, no one has been found infected with the virus in Nepal so far. Nipah virus is a serious viral disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. The virus is found naturally in the skin of a species called ‘foot bat’.
The Nipah virus is transmitted from animal to animal, from animal to human, and from human to human. Infected bats transmit the virus to animals like swine, cow and this can later be transmitted to humans via them.
Similarly, Nipah virus can be transmitted through the use of fruits in contact with infected animals, even in direct contact with the blood, feces and urine of an infected person. Symptoms of the virus include fever, nausea, headache, muscle aches, difficulty breathing and tonsillitis. The disease is also more contagious.
To avoid Nipah virus, people should eat only after washing fruits thoroughly, cook vegetables as much as possible, keep cattle sheds and farms clean, use gloves and masks when cutting and cooking meat, drink only boiled water whenever possible, wash hands with soap and water from time to time and wear a mask when in crowd.
According to Dr Poudel, the virus is at risk of killing 45 to 75 percent of people. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the Nipah virus as one of the 10 deadliest diseases in the world. He said that people should seek medical treatment if any symptoms of the disease were seen in them.
The ministry has requested for treatment at a nearby health facility as soon as the symptoms of infection appear.