Nipah virus wipes out Kerala family as another man dies

Nipah virus wipes out Kerala family as another man dies

Nipah virus wipes out Kerala family as another man dies

"Without laboratory reports it can not be said that these bats have been killed by Nipah virus", Choubey said, adding that he has already spoken to the Himachal Pradesh administration over the matter. The death toll in the deadly Nipah virus outbreak has so far, risen up to 10, Kerala health minister K.K. Shailaja confirmed.

India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said Tuesday that public health crews found numerous bats in a water well that had been used by three family members who were among the victims.

State National Health Mission Director Keshvendra Kumar, who reviewed the situation in the district, said "ribavirin" - a medicine that has shown to be effective against Nipah virus - has been procured by Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd. This virus first came into limelight when it caused an outbreak in humans that took place in a small village of Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in 1998 and the virus was named after this place. In an advisory, the central team has also asked for setting up of screening facilities of suspected cases at the exit and entry points of these districts.

Malappuram District Medical Officer K. Sakina told the media that the only thing the people in the district need to do is to follow the directions of the health authorities.

"A few cases of infection by Nipah virus have been reported from Kozhikode district. They have tested negative for the Nipah virus", he said.

Districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Wayanad are identified as unsafe.

"We have also made a decision to give a government job to the husband of the nurse Lini who died after attending to Nipah virus patients in Perambra in Kozhikode", he said.

Gulf News reported that Kerala "is in a state of panic after many cases of the killer Nipah virus were detected".

"All steps to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken", she added, urging people not to destroy colonies of fruit bats.

The virus that is usually carried by flying foxes - a kind of bat - or pigs and can be spread between humans through close contact with people's secretions and excretions. There is no known vaccine that can treat Nipah. Infected people initially develop influenza-like symptoms of fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat.

The virus can be transferred through infected bats, pigs or humans who have been infected.

Is this the first reported Nipah virus outbreak? Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care.

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