Strict measures taken at check points in Phuentsholing to avoid spread of Nipah Virus
To prevent the outbreak of Nipah virus in the country, the health ministry has started mandatory health declaration at the entry points.
The Nipah virus is a type of RNA virus in the genus Henipavirus. It can both spread between people and from other animals to people. Spread typically requires direct contact with an infected source. The virus normally circulates among specific types of fruit bats.
To prevent the outbreak of Nipah virus in the country a team of health workers are monitoring the gateways route by monitoring non-Bhuta- nese entering the country in Phuentsholing.
They have to fill the health declaration forms and are screened to test the symptoms of Nipah virus.
Besides that those Bhutanese people who are coming from affected areas are also been screened out.
A health official based on the scene said, “It’s a must that we monitor the situation and handle it wisely as we can’t take risk to let the outbreak of Nipah virus enter in the country.”
A regional tourist from India Krishna Dwaipayana 48 years said “It’s my second visit to Bhutan with my family and it’s a very good thing that the government and health officials are doing to stop spread of this virus.”
He added that in their country, the virus has already taken precious lives and he thinks their government also should do something about it.
Diagnosis is based on symptoms and con-
firmed by laboratory testing. Management involves supportive care.
As of date there is no vaccine or specific treatment. Prevention is by avoiding exposure to bats and sick pigs and not drinking raw date palm sap.
A Bhutanese residing at Jaigaon Phuntsho Wangmo said, “I have stopped taking fruits as I have heard that this new virus is being infected from fruits.”
She added that she saw the spread of news first from Facebook. “I have seen a post at Facebook where a family was dead due to eating of fruits which was bitten by a bat.”
Nipah Virus is known to infect both humans and animals and can be transmitted from animals such as bats and pigs to human and from human to human.
As of May 2018 about 700 human cases of Nipah virus are estimated to have occurred and 50 to 75 percent of those who were infected died.
In May 2018, an outbreak of the disease resulted in at least 18 deaths in the Indian state of Kerala.
The disease was first identified in 1998 during an outbreak in Malaysia while the virus was isolated in 1999. It is named after a village in Malaysia, Sungai Nipah. Pigs may also be infected and millions were killed in 1999 to stop the spread of disease.
Meanwhile, a person having symptoms with fever, dizziness, body ache, diarrhoea and nausea needs to visit the hospital. If suspected, the person will then be kept into isolation. So far no suspected case has been detected in the country.
To prevent the outbreak of Nipah virus in the country a team of health workers are monitoring the gateways route by monitoring non-Bhutanese entering the country in Phuentsholing.