Think Nipah has spread to your city? Here's its state-wise status update

The Nipah virus has claimed another life in Kerala's Calicut, taking the number of deaths to 16. Photo: PTI 
As concern over the Nipah virus outbreak increases with the infection claiming at least 16 lives in Kerala, state governments across the country are gearing up for any incidence of infection in their respective jurisdictions. 

Over the past two weeks, in the wake of Nipah's spread, state governments in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Telangana, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan have issued health advisories to warn people of the dangers as well as the symptoms of the infection. In these advisories, the authorities have asked people to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Nipah.    

Further, any cases of low-grade fever among people are advised to be reported to hospitals. 

Meanwhile, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has written to the Queensland government in Australia, asking it to provide an antibody developed there to test if it can "neutralise" the virus in humans.  

"We have asked them to give their monoclonal antibody for conducting a test in India to find out if it can neutralise the Nipah virus in humans. The antibody has only been tried in vitro (happening outside the body in artificial conditions, often in a test tube) and has been found to be effective. But it has not been tested on humans," said ICMR Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava, while clarifying that it will not lead to the creation of a vaccine.  

Here are the top updates on Nipah across states: 

1) Kerala: The Nipah virus has claimed 16 lives in Kerala until now.  

The scare created by the occurrence of the virus has also affected the tourism in the state. The state health department issued an advisory for people travelling to the state and urged travellers to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad, and Kannur districts. 

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned imports of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala, the Gulf state said on Tuesday, according to Reuters. 

The UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment also notified other local authorities, including the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the municipalities of its emirates, to prevent the entry of any fresh produce from Kerala, it said in a statement. 

2) Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday issued a health advisory asking people to remain cautious in the wake of the Nipah outbreak. However, it said that no incident of infection has been reported in the national capital yet. 

The government has also asked people to "stop consumption of raw date palm sap" and take special precaution when it comes to consuming mangoes that have fallen off trees and are lying under them this season.

The advisory also termed the outbreak as a local occurrence.

In the advisory, the Directorate General of Health Services said that the infection, spread from animals to humans, "can happen through infected bats by their bite or indirectly by consuming fruits contaminated by their saliva, close contact with infected pigs or patient of Nipah Virus infection".

3) North-East: Manipur's Health Services Director K Rajo on Tuesday denied social media reports that claimed that there were some cases of Nipah detected in Meghalaya. 

He said that although the North-East region is vulnerable to such diseases as it is visited daily by people from different states, including Kerala, the authorities have geared up on precautionary measures.

He advised people to eat fruits only after washing them, adding that whenever a low-grade fever is detected in people coming from other states, hospitals should be informed. 

Meanwhile, special isolation wards are being arranged in two major hospitals -- Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and J N Institute of Medical Sciences -- located in Imphal to cope with any eventuality.  

4) Himachal Pradesh: The Himachal Pradesh government issued an advisory on May 25 that said that 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 infected. 

Hence, preventions, like avoiding contact with pigs and pig handlers, maintaining personal hygiene, and avoiding consumption of raw fruits, were advised.    

Further, the National Institute of Virology in Pune has ruled out that the bats found dead in Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur district were carrying the Nipah virus, an official said on Saturday.  

5) Bihar: Last week on Saturday, the Bihar government issued a Nipah virus alert in the state asking people to take necessary precautions.

"The government has issued an alert of Nipah virus (NiV) in view of its outbreak in Kerala that has claimed 10 lives and created panic," said health department official R D Ranjan.

People have been advised to keep a distance from bats and pigs. They have been asked not to consume fruits without washing them. 

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday showed concern over the Nipah outbreak and said that there was a need to create awareness among people about the deadly virus. 

"There is a need to organise 'swasthya mela' at the panchayat level for creating awareness about various diseases. Recently, we have come to know about a disease (Nipah) in Kerala, for which we have to create awareness among people," Kumar said at a function organised by the health department. 

6) Goa: The state has been on alert for any Nipah virus related cases since first reports of its outbreak in Kerala came in.

A Kerala-based man was also kept under observation in an isolated ward of the Goa Medical College after he showed symptoms similar to that of the Nipah virus on Monday. However, the man tested negative for the virus on Wednesday.  

The blood samples of the patient, sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, have come out negative for the virus, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said. 

7) Puducherry: The Puducherry Collector Office on Saturday issued an advisory mentioning the preventive steps to be taken in high-risk areas to check the spread of the contagious disease.  

The collector said that the advisory has been issued by the hospitals to their staff and a press release has been given to them.

Staff at hotels have also been directed to inform the collector office if any guest comes from Kerala, especially from Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad, and Kannur districts.      
With agency inputs

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