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Nipah scare: Karnataka gears up to check virus transmission

According to the WHO, India is home to various species of bats and Karnataka is specifically home to Eonycteris spelaea species.

Published: 22nd May 2018 03:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2018 10:40 AM   |  A+A-

bat

Image for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India is home to various species of bats like Pteropus giganteus, Cynopterus, Scotophilus, Hipposideros larvatus kuhlii and Karnataka is specifically home to Eonycteris spelaea species.They are harmless flying mammals quietly roosting upside down from branches of trees with a large spread.

READ: Nipah virus Explainer: All you need to know of the newly emerged disease

Vijay Nishanth, an environmentalist, said that the view at Sankey Tank after dusk is beautiful as the bats in hundreds come to drink water. "I've observed bats in at least three areas in the city — Sankey Tank, Sarjapur and Bugle Rock, Basavanagudi. I have documented them as well. Most of them are fruit bats. They come to Sankey Tank to drink water. There are a lot of Ficus trees and fruiting trees there. It helps in dissipating fruit seeds. Even in Malleswaram, where there are a lot of Paper Mulberry trees, it helps in dissipating fruit seeds."

"In the evening, when the bats swoop down to have a dip in the water, it looks beautiful. A lot of people don't observe but it is an amazing view. In these three areas, there is a healthy population of bats. It is hard to find so many of these in an urban setting. Someone should take up a study on their population," he said.

Many residents of Malleswaram live in close vicinity of bats. With mango, jackfruit and a variety of fruit trees still standing in this area, bats are a very normal presence to residents of this bustling residential area.

HOW DOES THE VIRUS SPREAD?

Nipah virus (NiV)

Infection is a zoonotic (a disease which is transmitted from animals to human beings) disease that can causes severe disease in animals and humans
The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family

Pteropus genus

Virus transmission takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs, or from other NiV-infected people though cough or body fluids
Disease is contagious and can spread from person-to-person to family members 

NIPAH FACT FILE

NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998, with pigs as the intermediate hosts
The only other reported case of Nipah in India was from Siliguri in West Bengal way back in January 2001



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