Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the fruit bats responsible for the spread of Nipah Virus in Kerala, India has also been spotted in the Maldives, hence safety measures are being taken for protection.
HPA said they are monitoring the situation very closely under the advice of World Health Organization as the virus is rapidly spreading in some regions in Kerala, India.
HPA said they have not recorded a case of Nipah Virus in the Maldives so far. However, with the rapid spread of the virus in neighboring countries and having spotted these particular bats in the country, HPA said it is highly likely that the virus will come to the Maldives.
Hence, under the advice of the agriculture ministry, the agency has been monitoring the situation closely and taking preventive measures, HPA said.
While nine people had died in Kerala due to the virus, Kerala’s government had advised travelers to be alert if they are travelling to regions in North Kerala.
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus, and pigs.
While a vaccine has not yet been discovered, it is estimated that 70 percent of those that contact the disease will likely die.
Symptoms of the infection include fever, headaches, body aches, and sore throat. Some patients suffer dizziness, unconsciousness and fits due to the virus’s effects on the brain.
There is no known cure for the infection, and it is treated just like other infections like Zika and dengue; where treatment is given for the symptoms.
Nipah Virus in one of ten dangerous viruses that WHO estimates will be most widespread in the near future.