COLOMBO (NewsRadio); The Ministry of Health says the threat of the Nipah virus spreading to Sri Lanka from India remains minimal, amidst the rising fear about the contagious disease among people.
The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said in a statement that Sri Lanka faces a low risk with regard to the Nipah outbreak from the Indian state of Kerala and strict measures are being taken against the disease.
The latest outbreak in Kerala emerged in late August 2023 and up to now, only six people have been confirmed to have infected of which two have died.
Over 700 people who were suspected to be potential contacts of the infected patients have been quarantined and tested for the infection, with no positive reports as of September 22.
Citing the preventive measures taken by the Kerala authorities, the Epidemiology Unit said that this was the fourth Nipah outbreak to hit Kerala in the past five years.
The Unit said each time, the disease had been well controlled and timely precautionary measures had been taken to ensure that there was no spread beyond the area of origin of the outbreak.
Nipah is a zoonotic virus, transmitted predominantly from fruit bats and through food which has been contaminated by body fluids or secretions of infected animals, including directly from human to human via prolonged close contact.
In infected people, it can cause a range of illnesses from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.