brand logo
Sri Lanka at low risk of Nipah

Sri Lanka at low risk of Nipah

19 Sep 2023 | BY Sahan Tennekoon

In the wake of several people being identified with the Nipah virus in Kerala's Kozhikode area in India, the Epidemiology Unit of Sri Lanka assured that, while Sri Lanka is at a low risk in terms of the spread of the virus, the situation is however being monitored continuously by the Unit.

On 15 September, a new Nipah virus case was identified in Kerala's Kozhikode, bringing the total number of infections to six, with two fatalities. Kerala is dealing with a resurgence of Nipah cases, a brain damaging virus that spreads by contact with infected bats, pigs, or humans. In this situation, the State Government is on high alert, testing anyone on an infectious individual's high risk contact list. The Kerala Health Department stated that it had identified 1,080 people on the contact list of positive patients and had begun collecting samples.

When contacted by The Daily Morning yesterday (18) in this context, the Acting Chief Epidemiologist of the Unit Dr. Samitha Ginige said that there is no impact on Sri Lanka, even though several cases are being reported in the southern part of India, since this condition is not novel to the world. He added that similar cases have been reported during the past few years, even within the Indian subcontinent, but that it had no impact on Sri Lanka. Ginige also stated that the Unit could not deny that there is a risk when it comes to theoretical conditions, but that practically, it has no such critical impact on our country.

“This is not a new situation. It was found a long time ago and several cases have been reported from time to time even in our region. But there was no impact on Sri Lanka. The plus point is that if someone is infected with this virus, he/she cannot travel much since the symptoms become visible in a very short period of time, unlike COVID-19. So, it is very easy to identify the virus. 

“We cannot deny that there is a risk since it spreads through bats and humans, and in other ways. But the possibility is relatively lower than the spread of COVID-19 among countries,” Ginige said. He also said that the cases in Kerala have been reported from a remote area, and that therefore, the public should not panic in this situation since the matter is being monitored by health authorities.

More News..