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Oxford Launches Human Trials for Nipah Virus Vaccine

Oxford scientists launch first human trial for Nipah virus vaccine, targeting a deadly pathogen affecting Asia, including India.

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Oxford Launches Human Trials for Nipah Virus Vaccine
(Photo:medicaldialogues)

Researchers at the University of Oxford have initiated the first human trial for a vaccine targeting the Nipah virus, a lethal pathogen that affects several Asian nations, notably India. The ChAdOx1 NipahB vaccine is undergoing trials led by the Oxford Vaccine Group, involving 51 participants aged 18 to 55.

Nipah virus (NiV) poses a significant threat as it is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, such as bats and pigs. Fruit bats, specifically flying foxes, serve as the natural reservoir for NiV. Despite the initial outbreaks occurring 25 years ago in Malaysia and Singapore, there are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for this zoonotic virus.

Brian Angus, the Principal Investigator of the trial from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine, emphasized the urgency of addressing the absence of approved solutions: “Nipah virus was first identified in 1998, and yet 25 years on, the global health community still has no approved vaccines or treatments for this devastating disease.”

Due to its high mortality rate and the mode of transmission, Nipah virus is classified as a priority pandemic pathogen. Angus sees the vaccine trial as a crucial step in finding a preventative solution for local outbreaks and preparing for potential global pandemics.

The Nipah virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food and direct human-to-human transmission. In-Kyu Yoon, the acting executive director of vaccine research & development at CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), the funders of the trial, stated, “This trial is a step forward in efforts to build a suite of tools to protect against this killer virus.”

The 18-month project, using the same adenovirus vector as the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, targets a specific component of the Nipah virus. Following this initial trial, further studies are expected to be conducted in a Nipah-affected country.

In India, outbreaks have been reported in Kerala, and a survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) revealed evidence of Nipah virus circulation in bat populations across nine states and one union territory.

Recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a priority disease requiring urgent research, the Nipah virus belongs to the same family of paramyxoviruses as more familiar pathogens like measles. The case-fatality rates in outbreaks across Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, and Singapore typically range from 40% to 100%. Symptoms include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, disorientation, drowsiness, confusion, seizures, coma, and brain swelling (encephalitis).

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Bengaluru

Bomb Blast at Rameshwaram Cafe: Karnataka DGP Assures Swift Investigation

Describing the bomb blast at Rameshwaram Cafe, Karnataka DGP ensures thorough investigation. No serious injuries reported.

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Bomb Blast at Rameshwaram Cafe: Karnataka DGP Assures Swift Investigation
(Photo - livemint)

A horrific incident shook the tranquility of the city’s bustling Rameshwaram Cafe as a bomb blast ripped through its premises on Friday afternoon. Karnataka’s Director General of Police (DGP), Alok Mohan, swiftly labeled the calamity as a “bomb blast” and assured the public that authorities are actively pursuing the perpetrators.

The unsettling event unfolded around 1 PM, leaving nine individuals injured, fortunately with no reported fatalities. DGP Alok Mohan promptly arrived at the scene, accompanied by forensic teams to commence the investigation.

In a briefing with the press, DGP Mohan affirmed, “We are currently in the process of investigation. The forensic teams are meticulously examining the site for clues. Our priority remains identifying and bringing to justice those responsible for this heinous act.”

Despite the chaos and panic ensuing from the blast, Mohan reassured the public that the injuries sustained were not critical. “All the injured parties, including both patrons and staff of the cafe, are receiving necessary medical attention at nearby hospitals,” he confirmed.

Speculation arose regarding the nature of the explosive device used in the attack. Responding to inquiries, DGP Mohan stated, “We cannot confirm the type of explosive used at this stage. The forensic team is diligently collecting evidence, and once analyzed, we will have a clearer understanding.”

The gravity of the situation prompted immediate communication with higher authorities. DGP Mohan revealed, “I have personally briefed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister G Parameshwara about the incident. We are ensuring seamless coordination to expedite the investigation process.”

Additionally, Mohan addressed reports suggesting the discovery of batteries at the blast site. “Until a comprehensive examination is conducted by the forensic team, it would be premature to draw conclusions,” he emphasized.

Highlighting the severity of the incident, Mohan disclosed, “We have notified the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) about the situation. Collaborative efforts are underway to ascertain the motive behind this reprehensible act.”

As the investigation unfolds, the community remains vigilant, rallying behind law enforcement agencies in their quest for justice and ensuring the safety of all citizens.

Stay tuned for updates as the investigation progresses. Your cooperation is paramount in safeguarding our community against such reprehensible acts of violence.

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Bengaluru

Bengaluru Blast: BJP’s Allegations Against Congress

the Opposition BJP has strongly criticized the Congress government for the blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru Blast: BJP's Allegations Against Congress
(ANI - Photo)

the Opposition BJP has strongly criticized the Congress government for the blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru, attributing it to what they term as “appeasement politics.” They have called for a thorough investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), highlighting their concerns over the safety of citizens.

Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe Blast

Prominent BJP leaders have been vocal in linking the blast with what they perceive as the Congress’ support from minority communities. State president B Y Vijayendra pointed out the alleged “My Brother” policy of the Congress, referring to Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar’s reported remarks addressing the accused of the Mangaluru cooker blast as “my brother.” Vijayendra emphasized that such politics of minority appeasement is endangering the safety of citizens.

The BJP leaders further cited a series of incidents that they claim occurred under the Congress regime, including the targeting of Hindu homes during Tipu Jayanti celebrations and the raising of pro-Pakistan slogans inside the Vidhana Soudha. They assert that the blast at Rameshwaram cafe is an extension of this trend, linking it to the earlier incident of “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans being raised.

Leader of the Opposition R Ashoka condemned the Congress’ appeasement politics, alleging that it promotes a mentality of safeguarding irrespective of actions. He urged against turning Bengaluru into “Bomb Bengaluru” and called for responsible governance.

Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya criticized the Congress government’s handling of the situation, questioning their preemptive narratives and vote-bank compulsions. He urged for a fair investigation without biases.

BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh lamented the consequences faced by Bengaluru and Karnataka due to what he perceives as the extreme appeasement policies of the elected government.

In conclusion, the BJP’s stance on the Bengaluru blast underscores their concerns regarding the alleged appeasement politics of the Congress. They advocate for a transparent investigation to ensure the safety and security of citizens, emphasizing the need for accountable governance.

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Karnataka

Bengaluru: Kannada Nameplate Deadline Extended by 2 Weeks

In Bengaluru, businesses get 2 more weeks to comply with the 60% Kannada nameplate rule. DCM DK Shivakumar extends the deadline.

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Bengaluru Kannada Nameplate Deadline Extended by 2 Weeks
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In Bengaluru, the government has mandated that all businesses, including hotels and shops, display nameplates with at least 60% of the text in Kannada. Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar announced on X that the deadline for this requirement has been extended by two weeks.

Kannada Nameplate Deadline

The decision to extend the deadline comes in response to the need for more time for businesses to install Kannada nameplates. DCM Shivakumar emphasized the importance of upholding Kannada language in Karnataka, referring to it as the “language of our heart.” He urged all businesses to comply with the regulation within the extended timeframe.

Originally, the deadline for implementing the 60% Kannada language requirement on nameplates was set to expire today. However, with the extension, businesses now have an additional two weeks to make the necessary adjustments. Failure to comply with the regulation may result in penalties, including fines and the potential cancellation of business licenses by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) after the grace period ends.

Business owners and operators in Bengaluru are urged to take prompt action to ensure their nameplates meet the mandated language requirements. Compliance not only aligns with government regulations but also reflects respect for the cultural and linguistic diversity of Karnataka. Stay updated for further developments on this important regulation affecting businesses in Bengaluru.

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