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Nipah Kozhikode 2023: 1000+ People In Contact, Roads Blocked In Kerala, Can Nipah Spread May Cause Epidemic

The emergence of the Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala, has triggered concern, and if it isn't effectively controlled, it could potentially escalate into a significant public health crisis.

Vivek Singh
Roads closed in certain regions of Kerala due to Nipah Virus spread (Photo Credit: Freepik)
Roads closed in certain regions of Kerala due to Nipah Virus spread (Photo Credit: Freepik)

In response to the abrupt outbreak of the ​Nipah virus in ​Kozhikode, which has already resulted in two fatalities and numerous infections in the Kozhikode region of Kerala, educational institutions, including schools and colleges, have been indefinitely shuttered. Multiple quarantine areas have been established throughout Kozhikode, and the initial case of the Nipah virus in the area has been identified. To minimize the risk, students are being encouraged to partake in online classes and advised against participating in large gatherings for celebrations.

The Nipah virus has experienced a sudden surge in Kerala and is expected to continue spreading. The virus carries a high mortality rate if symptoms are not promptly treated, but it often remains undetected and asymptomatic in most individuals during the initial 5-14 days.

Can The Spread Of Nipah Virus in Kozhikode May Be An Epidemic Threat?

Nipah virus, also known as NiV, primarily spreads through animals such as fruit bats, and there is also a possibility of person-to-person transmission. Nipah outbreaks are almost annual in regions like India, Bangladesh, and parts of Africa.

In the last five years, Kerala has had four Nipah virus outbreaks, and the WHO considers it a disease with global epidemic potential. However, since 2018, Nipah's spread has been contained within Kerala in India, indicating the country's ability to control it. The virus is believed to have become endemic in the local fruit bat population, limiting its geographical reach.

The Nipah virus is expected to establish itself as an endemic presence in Kozhikode, resulting in herd immunity. This means it will likely stay confined to Kerala and is not anticipated to reach the level of a nationwide emergency like COVID-19.

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