In the wake of the recent outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus in Kerala, Animal Husbandry Commissioner of Maharashtra, Kantilal Umap, has issued instructions to carry out checks in all the pig farms in the state. The virus has so far claimed 10 lives in Kerala. It spreads to humans either from pigs or by consuming fruits infected by fruit bats. Bats act as the host of the virus, which spreads to other animals through their excreta or droppings.
Humans who come in contact with infected excreta, either through the fruits or pork, can contract the disease. The disease can further spread via human contact.
Not a single case of infection has been reported from the pig farms in the state so far, Umap told The Indian Express. He said necessary instructions have been issued to all officers in the state to keep a strict watch on pig farms as well as areas that are populated by the animals.
Umap said orders have been issued across the state to keep a sharp watch for any symptoms of the virus in the animals. “We have asked for stringent surveillance of piggeries to avoid any outbreaks,” he said.
Orders have also been issued to carry out regular cleaning and disinfecting exercises at the pig farms.
Along with the state Animal Husbandry Department, local bodies in both urban and rural areas have been alerted to the situation and asked to take necessary action.