Uganda put on high alert over Nipah virus outbreak

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Scientists have put Ugandans on a high alert as they warn of the likely catastrophe in the wake of the Nipah virus outbreak in India.

Experts note, that while Uganda has made strides in detecting and managing such viruses, global interconnectivity poses a looming threat for the easily spread of such viruses.

The southern Indian state of Kerala shut some schools, offices and public transport in a race to stop the spread of the rare and deadly Nipah Virus. As of today, more than 700 people have tested for the virus.

The Nipah virus was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak of illness among pig farmers and others in close contact with the animals in Malaysia and Singapore.Outbreaks are sporadic and previous infections in South Asia have occurred when people drank date-palm sap contaminated with bat excreta.

Scientists emphasize that despite Uganda's capacity to detect and manage such viruses, the interconnected world we live in makes the country vulnerable.

According to Dr. Misaaki Wayengera, Nipah virus is a zoonotic pathogen that can jump from animals to humans, causing severe respiratory illness and, in some cases, inflammations.

Early symptoms include fever, headache, dizziness, and vomiting, which can progress to severe respiratory issues and neurological complications.

Misaaki notes, that people should refrain from close contact with animals, especially bats, which are often the natural hosts of the Nipah virus.

As Uganda keeps a watchful eye on the Nipah virus situation in India, the importance of global preparedness and individual responsibility cannot be overstated. By staying informed, practicing good hygiene, and following health guidelines, Uganda can bolster its defenses against this and future health threats.

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