Nipah virus: Oman embassy issues warning for citizens travelling to India

Nipah virus: Oman embassy issues warning for citizens travelling to India

Nipah virus: Oman embassy issues warning for citizens travelling to India

Two people suspected to be infected with the brain-damaging Nipah virus are under treatment in India's Karnataka state, a health official said on Wednesday (May 23), after an outbreak of the rare virus in neighbouring Kerala state killed 10.

However, they said that people should avoid travelling to the four northern districts of Kerala - Kozhikode, Malappuram, Waynad and Kannur - to be "extra cautious".

An emergency meeting of health officials was chaired by District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali to review preparedness of hospitals in case the infection is reported in the district.

Healthcare facilities have been asked to ensure isolation facilities, ventilator support and infection control practices, and coordinate to enhance surveillance for unusual illness and death of animals.

He said as part of the general advisory, "a circular would be issued to all private and government doctors in the state to stay vigilant about symptoms of the virus being seen in any patient".

Also, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is strictly monitoring the spate and taking steps to put off its further spread. Out of the 11 deaths, eight are from Kozhikode and three from Malappuram. "Without laboratory reports it can not be said that these bats have been killed by Nipah virus", Mr Choubey said, adding that he has already spoken to the Himachal Pradesh administration over the matter. In Himachal Pradesh, the discovery of more than 18 dead bats from a government school premises created panic. They have denied rumours that the bats may spread the infection.

The National Centre for Disease Control has issued high alert across the country after an outbreak of the Nipah virus (NiV) infection in Kerala.

Dr Brendan Payne, honorary consultant in Infectious Diseases and Virology at Newcastle University, confirmed there is no risk from contact with pigs or bats in the UK. The virus gets its name from the place where it was first identified.

Health experts say that there is no vaccine yet for the virus, which causes fever and breathlessness in affected patients as initial symptoms, and only intensive care can help an infected patient recover.

Fruit eating bats are the primary host of the Nipah Virus, which can cause disease in both animals and humans.

There is now no vaccine or treatment to tackle Nipah, which has a mortality rate of around 70 percent.

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