The Journal of Community Health Management

Zoonosis unfurling: A public health challenge

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Author Details: J Mukhopadhyay

Volume : 5

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2394-2738

Print ISSN : 2394-272X

Article First Page : 55

Article End Page : 57


  Nipah viral infection (NiV) is an emanating zoonotic disease caused by highly virulent paramyxovirus naturally found in fruit bats of the genus Pteropus, also propagates in intermediate amplifying hosts like pigs and other domestic animals further facilitating spread in human beings. Neighbouring countries experienced many outbreaks concluding in high fatality and severe socio-economic loss. Being flying creatures, bats can spread NiV over long stretch of land making approximately 2 billion people at risk in SE Asian region. Recent outbreak emerged in Kozhikode, India in May 2018 with consequential 10 fatalities prompted to review and revisit data on NiV and suggest recommendations in Indian context.
In absence ofvaccine and therapeutic, this disease needs to be prevented at community setting by restraining certain social habitude and animal farming practices including food habits so that bat-pig-human cycle is severed preventingspread of disease. Awareness intensification through information and communication among at-risk population and health-care workers is imperative among control measures. Outbreak preparedness and season specific surveillance for acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) cases of unknown aetiology are obligatory by formation of multisectoral team with holistic approach to mitigate impending surge. Available clinical services need to be geared up in terms of assignment of surveillance clinicians, laboratory services for basic tests like ELISA and RT-PCR, commissioning of isolation wards, positioning of personal protective equipment for barrier nursing along with safety education of health-workers. Preventive measures so organised can defend the at-risk community undeniably in the face of a challenging zoonotic spate.

Keywords: NiV, Nipah, AES, ALRI

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