Nipah virus ‘not something to worry about at this time’ — health expert
MANILA, Philippines — A health expert on Monday said that it is unlikely for the deadly Nipah virus to reach the country’s shores.
“It’s not something to worry about at this time, because alam naman natin na at their level it is already a controlled outbreak … I don’t think it’s a problem in terms of border kagaya ng na-experience natin with COVID-19,” said infectious diseases doctor Rontgene Solante in an interview over TeleRadyo Serbisyo.
(It’s not something to worry about at this time, because we know that at their level it is already a controlled outbreak… I don’t think it’s a problem in terms of borders like what we experienced with COVID-19.)
“It’s easy to track down those symptomatic infections and more or less this is only in one province or area in India, it’s not so widespread,” Solante, president of the Philippine College of Physicians, added.
Solante was referring to India’s southern state of Kerala, which has already shut down schools and offices to halt the spread of the deadly Nipah virus, after it recorded two deaths from the rare and deadly brain-damaging Nipah virus.
The health expert said that common symptoms of the virus include fever, progressive headache, and extreme sleepiness.
It may then cause death due to severe inflammation of the brain.
Solante said the virus — which originated from fruit bats — is usually transmitted from animals, but human-to-human transmission has also been documented.
“At the moment there is no treatment or vaccines for this virus,” said Solante.
Nipah can be detected through an RT-PCR test, much like COVID-19, but by collecting blood samples or brain fluids.
So far, no cases of the Nipah virus have so far been detected in the Philippines.