Nepal government today sounded an alert against the possible spread of Nipah virus, found in neighbouring India.
Early this month, a 12-year-old boy in Kerala succumbed to the infection.
Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population has urged the general public to remain alert to the possible risk of Nipah Virus (NIV) infection after its outbreak was reported in India.
Nepal Health Ministry spokesperson Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel said in a press statement today that the risk of the virus outbreak and spread in Nepal could not be ruled out as Nepal and India share open borders.
“The infection of the deadly NIV, which is transmitted to humans from animals and then human to human, causing a serious illness, has now been detected in the Kerala State of India.”
Though the virus has so far been not detected in the country, the risk remains large, Mr Poudel pointed out, adding the fruit bat is the natural host of the virus and it is transmitted to pigs, cattle and then to humans.
Nipah virus is spread by the saliva of the fruit bats. It is a zoonotic illness that is transmitted to people from animals and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person to person, according to the World Health Organization.