'Public need not panic on Nipah virus'

'Public need not panic on Nipah virus'

District Surveillance Officer Dr Vasudeva speaks at a meeting in Udupi.

District Surveillance Officer Dr Vasudeva has appealed to the public not to panic about Nipah virus in Udupi.

“As a precautionary measure, common fever should not be neglected by the people,” Dr Vasudeva stressed while chairing a coordination committee meeting organised by the department of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.

He said symptoms of Nipah were very similar to that of influenza--fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems. “Inflammation of the brain can also cause disorientation.”

Nipah virus is spread through consumption of fruits consumed by bats or through animals that had consumed the fruits eaten by bats. Fruits that are half eaten by bats and animals should not be consumed, Dr Vasudeva said.

Two Nipah cases in Kerala had been confirmed. To check the spread of Nipah, students pursuing their studies in Manipal had been asked to postpone their visit to native villages in Kerala state.

There is a need to create awareness on the spread of Nipah.

“As Nipah spreads through virus, public should refrain from killing bats,” he advised. Fruits should be thoroughly washed before being consumed.

Unhealthy pigs should not be allowed to mix with healthy pigs. Water should be boiled before consumption. It is better to use mesh to cover wells in the areas where there are a huge number of bats.

Health officials should use mask and gloves while treating patients.  In charge DHO Dr M G Rama, Udupi Taluk Health Officer Nagarathna and others were present.

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