NIH rings alarm bells about spread of Nipah virus

Nipah virus

ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Health (NIH) has expressed fear of the spread of the Nipah virus in Pakistan.

The NIH has sent warning letters to both the federal and provincial health authorities regarding the possible spread of the Nipah virus.

In a letter, the NIH said that the virus could potentially be transmitted to Pakistan by the bats present in the Indian border areas.

It said that humans can contract the virus from consuming fruits that have been bitten by infected bats. It also said that the virus can be transmitted from infected bats or pigs to humans.

The NIH letter said that symptoms of the virus can last from five to 14 days and may include headaches, fever, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, and neurological symptoms.

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The NIH has asked both the federal and provincial health authorities along with the livestock departments to remain on high alert regarding the Nipah virus.

“Effective surveillance should be established at airports and border locations,” the NIH said adding that the confirmation of the virus can be done through serology, histopathology, and PCR tests.

There is currently no antiviral vaccine available for the treatment of the Nipah virus.

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