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Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala

Why is it in the news?

  • In Kozhikode district, Kerala, two confirmed deaths have been reported due to Nipah infection.

About Nipah Virus

  • Nipah is a zoonotic disease transmitted from infected animals or contaminated food.
    • Transmission from animals via consumption of contaminated food, particularly raw date palm sap or fruit.
  • Fruit bats, known as flying foxes, are primary animal hosts.
  • Human-to-human transmission possible, especially in close family and healthcare settings.
  • Nipah outbreaks reported mainly in South and Southeast Asian countries, including Bangladesh and India.
  • Slower spread compared to COVID-19 but high mortality rate (40%-75% in different outbreaks).
  • Quick containment attributed to lower infectiousness, with an R0 of about 0.48.
  • Symptoms include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and severe cases can lead to coma and death.



Zoonotic Diseases:

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Zoonosis refers to diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans.

脴聽 These diseases, known as Zoonotic Diseases, can vary from mild to severe, and in extreme cases, can even be life-threatening.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Zoonoses can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents that transmit the disease.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 The WHO defined Zoonoses in 1959 as “those diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man.鈥



Zoonotic Diseases in India:

  • India is a significant geographical hotspot for zoonotic diseases.
  • Zoonotic diseases in India cause a substantial burden of morbidity and mortality.
  • High-priority zoonotic diseases like Brucellosis have been reported from regions ranging from Haryana to Goa.
  • Occupational zoonotic diseases like Anthrax have affected human health across the country.
  • Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is endemic in India and affects cattle, impacting productivity and posing a public health threat.
  • India faces one of the highest bacterial disease burdens globally, making antibiotics crucial to limit morbidity and mortality.
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a significant concern in India due to the extensive use of antibiotics.
  • Major public health zoonotic diseases in India include Rabies, Brucellosis, Toxoplasmosis, Cysticercosis, Echinococcosis, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Plague, Leptospirosis, Scrub typhus, Nipah, Trypanosomiasis, Kyasanur forest disease (KFD), and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF).
  • According to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), approximately 75% of emerging and re-emerging infections in India are zoonotic.
  • New zoonotic pathogens (viruses) continue to emerge and spread across the country.

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