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Doctors Answer: ‘I Have Cold & Fever, Could It Be Nipah Virus?’
Thank you for sending your queries on the Nipah virus outbreak. We understand that with the multiple misinformed WhatsApp forwards doing the rounds, it is getting even more difficult to separate fact from fiction.
As promised, we at FIT are getting doctors to answer your concerns about Nipah virus and clear any misconceptions.
Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant – Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has answered some of your queries.
We have got multiple questions on fruits (which are safe to consume, which must be avoided). Here’s what Dr Chatterjee says:
“First of all, don’t panic. If you are not in a Nipah affected area, then it’s safe to consume fresh fruits and juices. People in the infected areas must exercise caution and avoid consumption of fruits for a few days until the situation improves.”
My friend (45), daughter (18) and I (45) will be going to Thiruvanthapuram, Kanyakumari, Allepey, Munnar, Kochi, Madurai and Rameswaram in June for a week by air. We are not sure whether it would be completely safe. We are physically healthy, have good immunity and have decided not to eat fruits, salads and visit near zoos or hospitals. Is it okay to go to these places or should we just cancel our trip? I know, it’s too early. Maybe, after a couple of weeks, things would either get better or virus may spread to nearby areas. Please advise.
While the virus is not widespread currently and the government has not issued any travel advisory, I would still recommend you to preferably avoid travelling to such areas, unless there’s an emergency and you have to travel.
I live about 70-100 kilometres away from a Nipah affected area. People from my place travel daily to affected areas for work. So is it safe to eat meat (from restaurants) and fruits from my area?
Bats can often travel for long distances. So there’s a chance that fruits might get infected.(Photo: iStockphoto)
Bats can often travel for long distances. So there’s a chance that fruits might get infected. So it’s better to avoid consuming any fruits for a a few days from such areas. And since pigs are also found to be carriers of Nipah, it’s better to avoid consuming their meat for some days.
8 days ago, I went to a water resort on outskirts of Bengaluru. There were date palm trees and some dates on ground there. Since two days now, I have developed cold, sneezing and nose blockage, which has now turned to low fever. Even my wife recently traveled to Trivandrum by flight and has developed cold and sneezing. Should we get ourselves checked for Nipah?
The symptoms of Nipah (like any viral infection) are fever, cough, breathlessness and frequent headaches.(Photo: iStockphoto)
The symptoms of Nipah (like any viral infection) are fever, cough, breathlessness and frequent headaches. So if you feel you and your wife are showing any of these symptoms, then I would advise you to consult your local physician and get a proper check-up done.
About 13 days back, my wife and me accidentally consumed jackfruit (from Kerala) which was partially eaten by bats. While there aren’t any symptoms yet, we are worried a lot after hearing about the outbreak of Nipah. Will there be problems in the future? Please advise.
First of all, don’t panic. Since you say you have consumed a fruit partially eaten by bats, I feel you should get a thorough check-up done by the local physician. Be aware that the symptoms of Nipah (like any viral infection) are fever, cough, breathlessness and frequent headaches. So it’s better you get a checkup done, just to be sure that nothing is wrong.
I am from Odisha. I have been suffering from cough since 4 days, not severe but mild. Can this be Nipah symptom? I have not been to Kerala ever and am not eating any fruits. But my family members are eating fruits. Please advise.
Please understand that since Nipah is a virus, it’s symptoms are also very identical to other viral infections. So if you are not from a Nipah infected area, then there’s no need to worry. You can consult a local physician if you feel unwell. And it’s safe to consume fruits if you are not in an infected area.