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Nipah awareness hits fruit sales

Nipah awareness hits fruit sales
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Nipah Virus Infection (NiV) cases from Hyderabad proved negative by the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Meanwhile, awareness of Nipah virus and their relationship with fruit bats on social media has alerted the Hyderabadis influencing the fruit sale in the city.

Hyderabad: Nipah Virus Infection (NiV) cases from Hyderabad proved negative by the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Meanwhile, awareness of Nipah virus and their relationship with fruit bats on social media has alerted the Hyderabadis influencing the fruit sale in the city.

Fruit bats (Pteropus giganteus) is a fungivore named after its diet which constitutes various fleshy, hanging fruits like mangoes, guava, sapota, banana and fig. Fruit bat is a carrier of Nipah virus. The Nipah infection has resulted in 14 deaths in Kerala and a few cases have been identified in other states.

Fruit sales were running on a high tide with the month of Ramzan, but sales have decreased because people in Hyderabadis are suspicious about the deadly NiV virus which has been proved negative recently. But the public is still cautious, and are avoiding consumption of fruits.

A fruit vendor Mohammed Khaja Ahmed said, “The sales have reduced to a significant level in the past three days.” Siraj Ahmed, a fruit juice maker from Mehdipatnam, said, “Usually during the month of Ramzan sales increase but this year there is a noticeable decline in sales even in the evening time.”

The name Nipah comes from the genus of palm trees. According to a report published by National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) US on Nipah virus epidemiology, the fruit bat is observed licking date palm sap from the handing pots which are used for the collection of toddy. It is a significant route of transmission of the virus.

General physician specialized in Internal Medicine Dr Sumanth Reddy said, “The virus can be transferred through the consumption of raw fruits which are bitten by the bat or the fruits could also be infected by faeces of the bats and even the pigs.”

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