Mangaluru, May 25, 2018: Some of the ‘home remedies’ against the Nipah virus (NiV) doing the rounds on social media are like : Boil six leaves of night-blooming jasmine(parijatha) in 200ml of water and prepare a 100ml kashaya. Add black pepper powder and three drops of lime juice. Consume the mixture thrice or four times a day; consume honey with onion extract regularly.
While researchers are yet to find a cure for the deadly virus, messages on the ‘power of Indian herbs’ has caught the attention of social media users, especially WhatsApp.
“These home remedies should be condemned outright,” said Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya, a consultant physician. “Nipah is a serious infection involving the brain and it causes encephalitis. Such patients need immediate hospitalisation and intensive care. Most patients require artificial ventilation until the virus subsides.
Kakkilaya claimed only one antiviral drug has proven effective so far. According to newspaper reports, the Kerala government has procured 2,000 such tablets and has ordered for another 8,000 tablets.
Mangalore based, Dr Edmond Fernandes, CEO, CHD Group, also rubbished the home remedies. “Let alone any home remedy, there is no treatment for NiV,” he said. He urged the public not to believe such messages and refrain from circulating them.
“The messages circulating on social media and also the promotion of alternative forms of medicine to cure NiV must be ignored,” Dr. Fernandes said. “Any development of illness during such times is best attended to by the medical community only.”
Ayurvedic doctors, too, said there is no treatment as yet for NiV. “Any medicine has to satisfy certain criteria to be released in the market. There is no treatment for NiV in Ayurveda as yet,” Dr Gautham Alva of Alva’s Ayur Care said.
The first known case of Nipah transmission to human was reported in the late 1990s. So far, around 600 such cases have been reported across the world. The previous two outbreaks reported in the country – Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia in 2007 – saw a fatality rate of 68% and 100% respectively. The average mortality rate in these 600-odd cases is between 50% and 70%.