Rejecting as 'baseless' reports in social media on confirmation of a Nipah virus case in Ernakulam district, officials Sunday asked all to keep away from spreading panic among the people. In a statement, Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla said usual medical examinations were carried out on patients coming with the symptoms of Nipah virus. Some social media reports had said that Nipah virus had been confirmed on a patient admitted to a hospital in Ernakulam district was baseless, he said.
There was no need for any concern, he added. If the disease is confirmed based on such examinations, that will be officially informed to the public and necessary precautions will be taken to control its spread, the Collector said and appealed to all to keep away from spreading panic among the people.
Last year, Nipah virus had claimed 17 lives -- 14 in Kozhikode and three in neighbouring Malappuram district.
What is Nipah Virus?
Nipah virus is a new emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Also known as NiV, the Nipah virus is an acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis which is found in horses, pigs, fruit bats and humans.
The Virus was named after the Malaysian village Kampung Sungai Nipah, where it was first discovered in pigs in 1998. The NiV is related to the Hendra Virus and is caused by an RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus.