Sikkim government issues advisory on Nipah

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Two persons, including one who visited Kerala recently, were admitted to hospitals here with suspected Nipah virus infection even as the Telangana health authorities have advised people to avoid visiting Kerala.

Their samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, to check the possibilities of the virus, which has been giving jitters to the medical fraternity and the administration in Kerala.

NiV doesn't show any symptoms when it first infects you. The infection can start with fever, sore throat, throat irritation, throbbing headaches, abdominal pain, fainting, nausea, vomiting and pain in muscles (myalgia). The symptoms may last 10-12 days followed by unconsciousness and death as a result of brain fever, the advisory said.

The Collector Office, Pudducherry on Saturday issued an advisory, mentioning preventive steps to be taken in high-risk areas to check the spread of the contagious disease.

"Mohap alerts the people travelling to Kerala to be aware of possibly of contracting the infection and advises them to postpone unnecessary travel till the situation will be controlled", it added.The WHO, however, has not issued any specific advice to countries that have not been affected by the Nipah but has asked them to enhance the level of preparedness.

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The hotel staff has also been directed to inform the collector office if any guest comes from Kerala, especially from Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts check-in.

The area inspector has been designated as the health inspector.

For aerosol-generating procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as individual gowns (impermeable), gloves, masks and goggles or face shields and shoe cover and the procedure should be performed in an airborne isolation room, the advisory further read.

The official said the test reports were expected in a day or two.

The Auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM) have been briefed regarding Nipah and awareness material prepared by Process Information Management System (PIMS) has been given to Document Management System (DMS) for circulation.

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The Health Ministry has urged people not to panic, asserting that the outbreak is "localised" to Kerala.

Health Services Director B N Chouhan, however, said there was no reason to worry as the virus is generally limited to a place. A warning has been issued against eating fruits fallen off from trees.

All the confirmed infections have involved people who caught the virus from the first victim while he was being treated, said microbiologist G. Arun Kumar. "Stay away from suspected infected persons".

A Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, western India, has sparked global concerns.

Explaining the process, the spread of Nipah virus to humans may occur after close contact with other Nipah infected people, infected bats, or infected pigs. Starting with wheezing and breathing difficulty, the symptoms lead to atypical pneumonia and other severe problems.

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