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Nipah kills one more in Kerala; public meetings banned, exams put off

26 May 2018

They were the first cases of Nipah reported last week.

A bat-infested well in a house in India's southern state of Kerala's Kozhikode district has been identified as the likely epicenter of the third outbreak of Nipah virus in this country since 2001, health officials said Wednesday. The fact that the virus has infected people in only two districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram, those hailing from other districts are not having much concerns.

The public health team constituted by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has given guidelines to the hospitals for proper risk assessment and management of the Nipah Virus infection. Many have left their homes and have proceeded to kin's residences at distant locations as the Nipah fever have already claimed 11 lives in Kozhikode and adjoining Malappuram district.

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In Bangladesh in 2004, humans became infected with NiV as a result of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats. "A central health team has found several bats housed in that well from where a family living in the house was drawing water", a health official said. Two "control rooms" in the worst-hit Kozhikode district have been set up to closely monitor the spread of the virus.

Moosa's sons Muhammed Salih and Muhammed Sabith, and his brother Moideen's wife Mariam were the first victims of the Nipah virus outbreak in the state.

Nipah Virus is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes a severe disease in both animals and humans.

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On Twitter, the Bahraini consulate in Mumbai urged citizens "to be cautious 'til the situation is under control", while the UAE consulate in Kerala advised Emirati nationals to take precautions and follow the instructions of Indian authorities.

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". The Nipaj virus infected 18 persons before it was localized and contained. The virus also transmits from humans to humans. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals, with primary treatment for human cases being intensive supportive care.

The World Health Organization has named Nipah as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside the likes of Ebola and Zika.

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Nipah kills one more in Kerala; public meetings banned, exams put off