The mortality rate among those infected with the Nipah virus is much higher than that of those infected with Covid, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief Dr Rajiv Bahl said on Friday.
According to Dr Bahl, the Nipah virus has a mortality rate of between 40 and 70 percent, compared to 2 to 3 percent for Covid.
A new case of Nipah virus was confirmed yesterday in Kozhikode, Kerala, taking the total number of infected people in the state to six. Two of the previous cases were fatal.
Amid rising cases in Kerala, India has asked Australia to provide 20 more doses of monoclonal antibodies to treat Nipah virus infections.
The ICMR, in light of the recurring outbreaks of the Nipah virus in the southern state and its high mortality rate compared to Covid, said it plans to start work on developing a vaccine against the viral disease.
“We received doses of monoclonal antibodies from Australia in 2018. Currently, doses are only available for 10 patients,” Dr Bahl was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Dr Bahl said 14 people who contracted the Nipah virus outside India have fully recovered after receiving monoclonal antibody treatment.
“Only a phase 1 trial to establish the safety of the drug has been carried out externally. No efficacy trial has been carried out. It can only be administered on a compassionate basis,” he said. declared.
In view of the rising cases, all educational institutions in Kozhikode will be closed for a week from today.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Friday said the contact list of Nipah virus patients in Kerala stands at 1,080. Of them, 327 are healthcare workers.