by JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL, Managing Editor
MISAMIS ORIENTAL – Governor Peter M. Unabia has issued an advisory requiring all citizens of the province to wear masks again in order to protect themselves against the contagious flue-like illness that recently struck the students in different schools in Cagayan de Oro.
As this developed, the governor has also required everyone to follow health protocols and observe social distancing especially in crowded public places, as the virus spread significantly in Northern Mindanao.
Provincial administrator John Venice Ladaga said the governor was alarmed that at least four universities in Cagayan de Oro suffered from the attacks of flu-like illness, victimizing hundreds of its students.
In his advisory, the governor said “the Nipah virus was discovered in 1999 following an outbreak of the disease in pigs and humans in Malaysia and Singapore. It is a zoonotic virus, which initially spread from animals and people throuigh close contact with an infected animal or its bodily fluids or urine.”
What scientists discover about Nipah virus?
India is now taking concrete measures to contain the spread of what could be another deadly virus which easily spreads from bats to humans.
The bat-borne Nipah virus has infected six people in the southern Indian state of Kerala
Out of six victims – two of them had already died, according to news sources direct from Kerala.
Since the virus started wreaking havoc in India in August 2023, the government has already recorded 700 people, including health-care workers, have been infected by the deadly virus. Reports also added that State authorities have already closed public transports, offices and some schools.
It was also learned that the Nipah virus outbreak has already hit Kerala for the fourth time in five years. The last attack of the virus was in 2021. Although said outbreak has only affected a small geographical area, according to the report.
Scientists who made scientific studies said that the Nipah virus can be deadly when it spreads to a big number of people as it becomes more contagious.
Rajib Ausraful Islam, a veterinary physician specializing in bat-borne pathogens at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, in Dhaka, said that Nipah virus fatality rate was recorded between 40 percent and 75 percent depending on the strain.
“Each outbreak is a concern,” he says. “Every outbreak is giving the pathogen an opportunity to modify itself.”
It was also learned that the said virus can cause vomiting, fever, inflammation in the brain and respiratory issues. The virus, the report said, is carried mainly by fruit bats but it can also infect domestic animals and humans. The virus spreads through bodily fluids from infected animals and humans. Scientists, however, are still doing more research and investigation into this recent virus scare in the country. ###