Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Medical | By Alyssa Little

Nipah deaths in Kerala, two in critical condition; high alert sounded

Nipah deaths in Kerala, two in critical condition; high alert sounded

"So far, we are not receiving any requests for cancellations, though people are anxious and are inquiring about the prevailing conditions there", she says. "The natural host of the virus is the fruit bat of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus". Earlier this month, his two sons and another relative also died due to the virus infection.

Transmission of Nipah virus takes place through direct contact with infected bats or from other NiV-infected people.

"We have also chose 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.

"Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe". The government has also called for an all-party meeting at Kozhikode on May 25 to discuss the issue.

The hotel staff has also been directed to inform the collector office if any guest comes from Kerala, especially from Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts check-in.

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The anganwadis is these regions too have been asked to close down to avoid the spread of the virus among children.

However, no decision has been taken yet on reopening of schools after the summer vacation.

"Due to the spread of the risky # NipahVirus in Kerala, South India, citizens are advised to be cautious, till situation is under control", a tweet from the consulate said.

But on Wednesday, this correspondent met a group of Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHA workers as they conducted a door-to-door awareness campaign in Soopikkada village - the ground zero of the Nipah outbreak - where four persons have succumbed to the virus so far.

Surveillance has been increased in all districts.

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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. Officials suspect the Kerala outbreak may have begun with bats.

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

Symptoms of the infection, which was first identified in 1999, include headaches, fever, respiratory illness and drowsiness.

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.

It was the slow response to West Africa's 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 11,300 people before an effective vaccine was developed, that prompted the launch of the CEPI coalition in January 2017.

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