What Fruits to Avoid to Stay Safe From Nipah Virus? Doctors Answer

Have questions on Nipah virus? Write to us at fit@thequint.com and we will get doctors to answer them for you.

Updated02 Jun 2018, 05:06 AM IST
Health News
4 min read

We understand that the Nipah virus outbreak has got you worried. And with the multiple misinformed WhatsApp forwards doing the rounds, it is getting even more difficult to separate fact from fiction.

So we at FIT are getting doctors to answer your concerns about Nipah virus and clear any misconceptions. We thank our readers who wrote to us. Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant - Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has answered some of your queries.

Keep sending your questions on fit@thequint.com.

Are there any precautions to be followed especially for infants and teenagers? As in the summer season, a lot of fruits like mangoes and litchis get consumed which are normally procured from large orchards. These orchards might have some bat population but it might be difficult for common people to know since fruits are normally bought from markets, malls or fruit vendors. Please advise.
As long as you are not in the infected area or the surrounding areas, it’s safe to consume fruits.
As long as you are not in the infected area or the surrounding areas, it’s safe to consume fruits.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

If all fruits were infected then everyone (and not just children or teenagers) would be affected by the virus. But the good news is that the virus is not widespread. So, as long as you are not in the infected area or the surrounding areas, it’s safe to consume fruits. There’s no need to stop children from having fresh fruits.

I was in the district of Alleppey when the news broke out. Although the districts of Khozikode and Alleppey are 250 kilometres away, it’s been giving me sleepless nights the whole week. I got back to Bangalore on Thursday night. I see myself being more tired than usual and also have mild headaches which aren’t normal for me. I’m the last person who feels dull or has a headache generally. I did go to a reputed hospital on Friday morning, where the doctor assured I don’t have to be worried. But I feel sleepy for no reason, even after consuming coffee and there are recurring mild headaches. I really am in a spot and want to get this out of my head. I’ve been told I can’t get the tests for Nipah done generally and there’s a whole process involved, which sounds absurd. Any help will be appreciated.
If you experience recurring fever, cough, breathlessness, then you must definitely get a second opinion.
If you experience recurring fever, cough, breathlessness, then you must definitely get a second opinion.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Please understand that no diagnosis can be 100% correct. But if the doctors have examined you and feel that there’s no need to be worried then it should be fine. Only if you experience recurring fever, cough, breathlessness, then you must definitely get a second opinion. Else, you must not worry. Yes, currently the tests for Nipah virus can only be conducted at National Institute of Virology in Pune. So until your doctor doesn’t prescribe those specific tests, it might be difficult to get them done.

How can anyone identify that the illness is from Nipah in any infected person since the symptoms are common as like other normal diseases? Are there any special symptoms we can notice in infected person from starting effect of this virus?

Sadly, no. It’s an infection which is difficult to diagnose since it’s just like any other viral infection. Even the doctors themselves are struggling to identify the infection in its initial stages. So it’s important to raise the level of awareness in doctors first. That’s the only way to curb the further spread of this disease.

I had visited another patient in the hospital ICU where a Nipha patient had died the previous day and another one was under isolation in a glass cubicle. I was using a n95 mask inside the ICU. However, the ICU door which is common had to be grabbed with bare hands. What is the risk involved at present?
Take necessary precautions when near a Nipah virus.
Take necessary precautions when near a Nipah virus.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

People visiting other patients in ICU might not necessarily be at risk. But since you touched the door of the ICU with bare hands, you are at a higher risk. Please get yourself tested by a local doctor if you are experiencing recurring fever, cough, breathlessness, headaches. I would advise you not to be near a Nipah patient for some days and get yourself thoroughly tested.

I am from Tamil Nadu. Can we have fruits and consume fresh fruit juice?

If you are not in a Nipah affected area, then it’s safe to consume fruits and fruit juices.

Should eating ice apples be avoided as a precaution against Nipah virus? I am from Hyderabad, which is not a Nipah affected area till now.

Since the virus is not widespread yet, it’s completely safe to consume fresh fruits if you are not in a Nipah affected area.

Have more questions on Nipah virus? Write to us at fit@thequint.com and we will get doctors to answer them for you.

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Published: 29 May 2018, 07:18 AM IST
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