Nipah virus claims one more life in Kerala

WHO warns against outbreak of Nipah virus

The outbreak of Nipah virus, which has resulted in the death of ten people in Kerala, is also likely to have an adverse impact on India's fruit exports.

Kerala state health minister K.K. Shylaja told reporters Tuesday that there had been no new cases of Nipah, though it was not immediately clear when the last case was reported.

Animal Husbandry department and Forest officials deposit a bat into a container after catching it inside a well at Changaroth in Kozhikode in the Indian state of Kerala on May 21, 2018. The virus, which is released through bats' saliva, urine and excreta, typically spreads due to bats consuming fruits on trees.

This apart, in order to control the spread of Nipah Virus, the Government of India is taking several steps while efforts are focused on surveillance and spreading awareness for risk assessment and management of the disease.

The symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion.

After an initial setback due to reports on Nipah-related deaths, the Kerala tourism industry seems to be clawing back to normalcy."There were cancellations initially, but now the situation is stabilising", said Jose Dominic, MD and CEO of CGH Earth Group. In the year 2004, the same virus arrived in Bangladesh through infected fruit bats.

While medical professionals are in a rush to contain the virus, it must be noted that there's no cure as of now and the virus is contagious with 75%-100% fatality rate. Of the 13 confirmed cases, 11 people have died so far.

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

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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.

It's believed that a nurse treating the victims in Kerala has also died.

Two "control rooms" in the worst-hit Kozhikode district have been set up to closely monitor the spread of the virus.

It is noted that Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda taking cognizance of the issue, and also directed to constitute a team of six doctors to investigate the outbreak of the rare and deadly virus.

While 45 people succumbed to the virus when it broke out in Siliguri town in West Bengal, some five people died in the second outbreak in 2007 in the state's Nadia district.

The government also made a decision to give Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the nine others who have lost their lives to Nipah.

However, there is no vaccine for this virus yet, says the World Health Organization.

Human-to-human transmission of the virus has been recorded in previous outbreaks in India that killed as many as 50 people.

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