Nipahvirus: India restricts public life after virus outbreak

Indian authorities have significantly restricted public life due to a virus outbreak in the south of the country. In Kerala state, public gatherings are banned and many schools have been closed. The roadblocks aim to prevent people from moving into affected areas.

According to official information, two people have already died from the so-called Nipah virus and three others have tested positive. More than 700 people are under observation because they have been in contact with infected people. Among them are no less than 150 health workers.

Nipahviruses can cause severe inflammation of the brain in humans, accompanied by respiratory symptoms, as reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). They were discovered in 1999 to cause a major outbreak in pigs and humans in Malaysia and Singapore. Since 2001, human NiV infections have occurred annually in Bangladesh and northern India.

This is transferred virus from person to person or from animal to person. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is a pathogen with the potential to cause a global epidemic. There is no vaccine or medicine; the mortality rate is 40 to 75 percent.

Rosemary Rowse

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