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Maharashtra: Nipah Virus Found In Two Bat Species

Maharashtra: Nipah Virus Found In Two Bat Species

The deadly Nipah virus has been found for the first time in two species of bats in Maharashtra. Scientists of National Institute of Virology, Pune have given this information. Nipah virus is included in the top 10 primary list of pathogens identified by WHO and it is spread through bats.

In the month of March 2020, bat swab samples were taken from a cave in Mahabaleshwar, Satara. According to Pragya Yadav, who led this team, Nipah virus had not been found in any species of bats in Maharashtra before. The detection of Nipah virus in bat species is a matter of concern as there is no cure for this disease and its mortality is also high.

Mortality rate between 65 and 100% in Nipah virus cases
In the past few years, bat-transmitted viruses Ebola, Marburg, or the recent Covid-19 pandemic have spread across the world. Although the death rate in Kovid is between 1% to 2% in most Indian states, the mortality rate in Nipah virus cases is between 65% and 100%.

Actually, blood, throat and rectal swab samples were taken from the Mahabaleshwar cave of two species of bats, leschenaultii and Pipistrellus, for the purpose of the study. After research, anti-niv antibodies were found in 33 leschenaultii and 1 Pipistrellus bat samples. The NIV’s findings were published in an article titled ‘Journal of Infection and Public Health’.

The first case of Nipah virus in the country was reported in 2001 in West Bengal. This case was found in Siliguri. After this, in the year 2007, the case of Nipah virus again surfaced in Nadia district of West Bengal. After this, in the year 2018, 18 people died due to this virus. At the same time, in 2019 also Nipah cases were seen in the state. A study conducted in 2018 identified several Southeast Asian countries as hotspots of NiV disease. The names of many Indian states were also included in these.

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