NIV scientists have urged doctors to consider JE virus for diagnosis while screening for Nipah.
Mumbai: Three cases of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) have been detected from the samples suspected of Nipah infection that were sent from Kerala to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, last month.
NIV scientists have urged doctors to consider JE virus for diagnosis while screening for Nipah. There is no vaccine for the virus, which can cause encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. The scientists said that no confirmed cases of Nipah infection had been found outside of Kerala till now.
Experts said that JE is a viral disease which is generally spread by mosquitoes, pigs and wild birds. Dr Madhav Sathe, senior microbiologist at KEM Hospital said, “The virus exists in a transmission cycle between mosquitoes, pigs and water birds. The disease is mainly found in rural and semi-urban areas where humans live in close proximity to vertebrate hosts. Such type of infirmity mostly spreads after summer and during the onset of monsoon.”
A total of 18 cases have been tested positive for Nipah, of which, 16 succumbed to the disease. Since May 18, 200 samples with symptoms of encephalitis have been tested at NIV.
NIV scientists said that they were receiving samples with JE symptoms from Karnataka, Kolkata, Goa, Maharashtra, and northern states.“We have alerted the state health departments to take adequate measures,” they said.