News: Efforts are on to trace the source of the latest Nipah virus infection in Kozhikode district of Kerala after a 12-year-old boy died of the infection.
About Nipah Virus:
Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people.
In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.
The virus can also cause severe disease in animals such as pigs, resulting in significant economic losses for farmers.
Although Nipah virus has caused only a few known outbreaks in Asia, it infects a wide range of animals and causes severe disease and death in people, making it a public health concern.
Nipah virus was first recognized in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in, Malaysia. No new outbreaks have been reported in Malaysia since 1999.
It was also recognized in Bangladesh in 2001, and nearly annual outbreaks have occurred in that country since. The disease has also been identified periodically in eastern India.
Other regions may be at risk for infection, as evidence of the virus has been found in the known natural reservoir (Pteropus bat species) and several other bat species in a number of countries, including Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, the Philippines, and Thailand.
The case fatality rate is estimated at 40% to 75%. This rate can vary by outbreak depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management.
Nipah virus can be transmitted to humans from animals (such as bats or pigs), or contaminated foods and can also be transmitted directly from human-to-human.
Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural host of Nipah virus.
There is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals. The primary treatment for humans is supportive care.
Fruit bats of the family Pteropodidae – particularly species belonging to the Pteropus genus – are the natural hosts for Nipah virus. There is no apparent disease in fruit bats.
Outbreaks of the Nipah virus in pigs and other domestic animals such as horses, goats, sheep, cats and dogs were first reported during the initial Malaysian outbreak in 1999.
2. RECIPROCAL EXCHANGE OF LOGISTICS AGREEMENT
News: India is all set to conclude the bilateral logistics agreement with Russia (the Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS)) soon while the agreement with the U.K. is in the final stages of conclusion.
The Navy has been the biggest beneficiary of these administrative arrangements, signed with several countries, improving operational turnaround and increasing inter-operability on the high seas..
Negotiations with a few more countries including Vietnam are in the preliminary stages.
India has signed several logistics agreements with all Quad countries, France, Singapore and South Korea beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S. in 2016.
The agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India.
3. PANJSHIR VALLEY
News: Taliban fighters have advanced deep into Afghanistan’s holdout Panjshir Valley, with resistance fighters saying they are keeping the Islamists at bay but analysts warned that they are struggling.
About Panjshir Valley:
The Panjshir Valley (literally Valley of the Five Lions) is a valley in north-central Afghanistan, 150 kilometres (93 mi) north of Kabul, near the Hindu Kush mountain range.
It is divided by the Panjshir River.
The valley is home to more than 100,000 people, including Afghanistan’s largest concentration of ethnic Tajiks.
It was the site of the Panjshir offensives fought by the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets against the mujahideen during the Soviet–Afghan War from 1980 to 1985, when local commander Ahmad Shah Massoud successfully defended the valley.