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Ministry orders Nipah virus detection kits

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The Health Ministry has ordered Nipah virus detection test kits and is expecting them to arrive in the country shortly, a Health Ministry Spokesman said.

Amid the risk of an outbreak of the Nipah virus that killed several people in India recently, Health authorities said they are closely monitoring the situation and the public should not need to panic over the outbreak in Kerala, India.

The Health Ministry has already taken several precautionary measures, including the procurement of test kits for early detection.According to the sources of the World Health Organization, Nipah virus infection in humans causes a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection (subclinical) to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis.

The case fatality rate is estimated at 40 percent to 75 percent. This rate can vary by outbreak depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management. Nipah virus can be transmitted to humans from animals (such as bats or pigs), or contaminated foods and can also be transmitted directly from human-to-human.

Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural host of the Nipah virus.

There is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals. The primary treatment for humans is supportive care.The 2018 annual review of the WHO R&D Blueprint list of priority diseases indicates that there is an urgent need for accelerated research and development for the Nipah virus.

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