Mortality Rate Of Nipah Virus Much Higher Than COVID-19: ICMR

New Delhi: The mortality rate of Nipah virus is much higher than that of coronavirus, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Rajeev Bahl said on Friday.

COVID-19 had a mortality rate of 2 to 3 per cent, while Nipah has a death rate of 40 to 70 per cent.

Bahl asserted that they are making all efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus in Kerala.

“We don’t know why the cases keep surfacing. In 2018, we found the outbreak in Kerala was related to bats. We are not sure how the infection passed from bats to humans. The link could not be established. Again we are trying to find out this time. It always happens in the rainy season,” the ICMR DG said at a press conference.

Bahl informed that India will be procuring 20 more doses of monoclonal antibody from Australia for the treatment of Nipah virus infection.

“We got some doses of monoclonal antibody from Australia in 2018. Currently, the doses are available for only 10 patients… 20 more doses are being procured. However, the medicine needs to be given during the early stage of the infection. Only phase 1 trial to establish the safety of the medicine has been done outside. Efficacy trials have not been done. It can only given as compassionate use medicine,” Bahl said.

Six people have tested positive for Nipah virus in Kerala so far, of whom two have died.

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