Tuesday, July 10, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> Nipah virus - India (15): (AS, WB) fruit bats

NIPAH VIRUS - INDIA (15): (ASSAM, WEST BENGAL) FRUIT BATS
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Date: Sat 7 Jul 2018 00:00 IST
Source: The Telegraph India [edited]
<https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/north-east/study-finds-dhubri-bats-positive-for-nipah-243048>


A study report published in a recent edition of the Indian Journal of
Medical Research says bats with nipah virus have been found in Assam's
Dhubri and West Bengal's Cooch Behar districts.

During the study, conducted from March till December 2015, 107
_Pteropus giganteus_ bats were captured from Assam and Bengal - 60
from Dhubri, 39 from Cooch Behar and 8 from Jalpaiguri district in
Bengal. Tissue specimens of the 107 bats were sent to the National
Institute of Virology, Pune, which found 6 bats from Cooch Behar and 3
from Dhubri positive for nipah virus. _Pteropus_ bats are known to be
a natural reservoir for this virus.

Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis. In 2001, nipah
virus-associated encephalitis outbreak was reported for the 1st time
from Meherpur district, Bangladesh. Sporadic cases and outbreaks have
been reported from various districts of Bangladesh since. Twelve
persons died of nipah virus in Kerala in May this year [2018].

"The presence of nipah virus in the bat population in a previously
unexplored region is a matter of serious concern. This warrants a
survey to determine the presence of the virus among humans, suspected
cases and reservoirs (swine and bat) in other states of Northeast,"
says the report.

A senior official of the Assam health department said so far Assam has
not reported any nipah outbreak. "The detection of nipah in bats in
Dhubri may be because of proximity of the district to Bangladesh. The
bats may have migrated from there. People in Dhubri were screened
under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme after nipah
outbreak in Kerala. No one was found infected. So far, no nipah
outbreak has been reported in the state," he said.

During the outbreak in Kerala, officials of the Assam health
department had said there was no need to panic as the disease was
restricted to 2 districts of Kerala.

[Byline: Rajiv Konwar]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
<promed@promedmail.org>

[The finding is presented in the last issue of the Indian Medical
Journal
<http://www.ijmr.org.in/article.asp?issn=0971-5916;year=2018;volume=147;issue=3;spage=318;epage=320;aulast=Yadav>.

An extract from the article reads: "Nipah virus (NiV) is a member of
the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus and an important
emerging zoonotic disease in South East Asia. NiV was 1st identified
in Singapore and Malaysia during an outbreak of severe febrile illness
with encephalitis in 1998-1999. In 2001, Nipah encephalitis outbreak
was reported for the 1st time from Meherpur district, Bangladesh;
since then, sporadic cases and outbreaks were reported from various
districts of Bangladesh. India has witnessed 2 outbreaks of Nipah
encephalitis in the eastern State of West Bengal during the year 2001
and 2007."

The natural reservoir hosts of NiV are flying foxes (_Pteropus_ spp.).
They live in the tropics and subtropics of Asia (including the Indian
subcontinent), Australia, East Africa, and a number of remote oceanic
islands in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans. At least 60 extant
species are in this genus. The species found in the Indian
subcontinent is the Indian flying fox (_Pteropus giganteus_). It is
one of the largest bats in the world. For a picture go to
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_flying_fox#/media/File:Eye_contact_with_flying_fox.jpg>.
- Mod.PMB

HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
Cooch Behar, West Bengal, India: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/3385>]

[See Also:
2015
----
Nipah virus, bats - New Caledonia, RFI
http://promedmail.org/post/20150514.3360650
Nipah encephalitis, human - Bangladesh (02)
http://promedmail.org/post/20150407.3280088
2014
----
Hendra virus, equine - Australia (03): (QL)
http://promedmail.org/post/20140721.2626012]
.................................................sb/pmb/ec/ml
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