Nipah virus is believed to have spread to Karnataka after killing 11 people in the neighbouring state of Kerala. Two people, a 20-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man, have reportedly contracted the deadly virus when they travelled to Kerala and are being treated in hospitals.
"They are not confirmed Nipah cases yet, so there is no need to panic. The situation is under control," a health official in Karnataka told NDTV on Wednesday (May 23).
However, a few hoax messages about the outbreak and some quack remedies for the disease are doing rounds online as authorities are trying to bring the situation under control.
The Kerala police have declared that they will be taking strict legal action against people who are caught spreading false information about Nipah virus.
Here are few messages that are doing rounds on social media:
A WhatsApp message reads: "All be on alert.Do not visit Kerala...Immediate quarantine needed on Goa borders. None from Kerala will be permitted to enter Goa by road, air, train or ship without check-ups....could spread to in next week. To Mumbai in 8 days."
Meanwhile, the Goa government has appealed the citizens to stay calm. Health minister Vishwajit Rane also said that the Goa government has not received any alert from the National Centre for Disease Control, according to The Times of India.
Another WhatsApp forward, which is apparently from Dr. Arjun from the RML Hospital in Delhi, is doing rounds. However, the Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Smriti Tiwari, told boomlive.in that the message is fake.
The message consists of some general fact about Nipah virus and a few tips for any kind of epidemic:
Meanwhile, nearly 18 bats were found dead inside a government school in Himachal Pradesh's Nahan town on Wednesday. This has left the locals worried and distressed. Health, animal husbandry, and forest department officials were rushed to the Burma Papadi School after the incident came to light.
Nipah virus, whose natural host is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, can bring about acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis in humans, according to World Health Organisation. While human-to-human transmission has also been documented, there is no vaccine for the disease.