What is Nipah virus and how to prevent the disease- Kerala travel advisory

22May - by swayamt - 1 - In Travel
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I don’t want you to contract the Nipah virus disease while holidaying in Kerala, but if you do then here are a few tips that will help you battle this disease. Read this Kerala travel advisory and find out ways and means of preventing this illness.

images of Kerala tourism के लिए इमेज परिणाम
image courtesy- Kerala Tourism

History of  Nipah virus?

The world first came to know about this virus in 1998. That year, several Malaysians reported sick and the underlying cause was this micro-organism.

Bangladesh is a considerable distance from Malaysia but the Nipah virus disease raised its head in that country too. For those who don’t know, there is a vast sea between the two countries.

A few days back, six people died in Kerala because of complications caused by this deadly virus.

Just in case you want to read more on the history of the Nipah virus > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22782307

How does it spread?

There are two animals that cause the spread of this virus.

One is the pigs, and the other is the fruit bats. Scientists believe that the virus is passed on to the sap of trees by these bats.

As far as the pigs are concerned, the virus gets carried on from their flesh to humans. So, if you are a non-vegetarian and are fond of pork, and have been to Malaysia, Bangladesh or Kerala, then you might catch the Nipah virus.

Additionally, people fond of eating dates can also catch this disease. Bats pass on this virus when licking the sap from the dates and that is how it ultimately finds its way in our bloodstream.

Symptoms

If you do contract the Nipah virus disease, then you might experience nausea, headache, and fever. You also might feel confused or disorientated. These symptoms occur because of the inflammation of your brain.

Though these symptoms may last for 8-10 days, please visit the hospital immediately. If you don’t then you might fall into a coma. And you know what getting into a coma means, right?

Read this article to know about the list of government hospitals in Kerala for treatment of your Nipah virus illness.

How to prevent the Nipah virus illness?

Preventing this illness is easy.

First, avoid shaking hands with strangers. If you are new to India, then studiously avoid touching strangers in any form. Just say ‘Namaste’ to whosoever you meet. Initially, there will be some hurt feelings but what the heck, you are responsible for your own health.

Two, stay away from the non-vegetarian platter for a while. There are many cases when diners have been given pork masked as mutton or something else. Don’t take any risk while you are in Kerala. Rather, try the sambhar-dosa-idlee fare while holidaying in Kerala. It is better to have something vegetarian than risking your health by going in for mutton etc.

Thirdly, and it is so evident, stay away from all kinds of dates.



Lastly, if you think you have contracted this disease, straight away head to the nearest allopathic doctor. I have italicized this word because some crooks would persuade you to visit some shady Ayurvedic clinic promising you the moon. Even as I write this article, government sources tell me that there is no ayurvedic remedy to this disease.

So, my dear friend, go to the nearest allopathic doctor without the slightest delay.

When you reach the hospital, the folks there will put you on preventive medical support for a few days. I don’t think there is any vaccine available now that will rid you of this disease.

You may like to read this World Health Organization article on Nipah virus > http://www.who.int/csr/disease/nipah/en/http://www.who.int/csr/disease/nipah/en/

I think the best way to stop the Nipah virus from contacting you is to adopt simple hygiene practices like washing your hands frequently. 

List of government hospitals in Kerala

Government hospitals inquiry numbers

1 Government Medical College 
0471 – 2528386
Trivandrum
2 Government Medical College 
0481 – 2597284
Kottayam
3 Government Medical College 
0495 – 2359110
Kozhikode / Calicut
4 Government Medical College 
0483 – 2766056
Manjeri, Malappuram
5 Government Medical College 
0487 – 2201355
Thrissur

I hope you will find all this information helpful.

Lastly, please do not drop Kerala from your itinerary just because of the Nipah scare. Remember, it is just a virus that has raised its ugly head and we should not get scared of it.

Make it a point to visit Kerala this year and take back a load of memories.



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