People should take maximum precautionary measures and not panic over Nipah virus: Priyanka Mary

10:14 AM, Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

priyanka-maryUdupi: Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis said on Tuesday that people should take maximum precautionary measures and not panic over Nipah virus. She was chairing a meeting over the prevention of Nipah virus at the District Offices Complex, here.

Ms. Francis said that already six persons had died due to this virus of the 96 persons infected with it in Kerala. This disease spreads through fruits bitten by bats and through fruits bitten by birds which had fallen below trees and eaten by human beings. Hence, people should strictly avoid eating fruits bitten by birds and which had fallen below trees. People should eat fruits only after cleaning them properly and removing their peels. They should wash their hands and keep them clean, she said.

The administration has issued a guideline of Do’s and Don’ts for preventing the spread of Nipah virus fever. The Dos are: Isolate infected livestock, such as pigs, horses, dogs and cats as they act as the intermediate host; suspected human cases should be isolated; Clothes, utensils of suspected cases and items typically used in the toilet or bathroom to be cleaned separately and maintained hygienically; Avoid hand shake and wash hands properly after contacting infected people; Wear mask and gloves while tending to patients; Wash, peel and/or cook all fruits thoroughly before eating; and Visit the nearest health centre for any flu-like illness

The Don’ts are: Do not eat fruits that may have been bitten by birds and animals; Do not drink toddy/neera collected from areas where bats are found in large numbers; Precautionary measures should be taken when visiting infected areas; Avoid contact with sick persons’ body secretions (saliva, sweat, urine, etc.); and Relatives should try to refrain from hugging or kissing their dead.

The symptoms include fever, head ache, fainting and nausea. In a few cases, symptoms could also include choking, stomach pain, vomiting, fatigue and blurred vision, she said. Raising awareness on transmission and symptoms was important in reinforcing standard infection control practices to avoid human-to-human infections in hospitals.

She directed the Health Department to give information about the virus to all anganwadi workers and junior health workers. Pamphlets about the precautions should be distributed to the general public. All the doctors should be told about the Standard Operating Procedure through the IMA, Ms. Francis said.

Rohini, District Health Officer, Madhusudhan Nayak, District Surgeon, representatives of IMA, were present.

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