Central team says Nipah virus confined to Kerala, neighbours cautious

28 May, 2018, 06:31 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • Kerala nurses’ leaves have been cancelled in Meerut Uttar Pradesh hospitals due to Nipah virus scare

11 people killed and 25 hospitalized due to deadly Nipah Virus in southern India, especially in Kerala. "They have tested negative for the Nipah virus", the official said. Both the patients have been isolated and their blood, swab samples sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV)-Pune.

All the confirmed infections so far involved people who contacted it from the first victim while he was being treated, said microbiologist G Arun Kumarat the Manipal Centre for Virus Research.

"The district health societies have also been asked take contact details of all the relatives and acquaintances of the suspected patients so that investigations can be done thoroughly whether the virus has spread among them or not".

With samples of insectivores bats testing negative for the virus, samples of fruit-eating bats are being collected from nearby Perambra, the epicenter of the Nipah virus, to be send for tests at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal.

Most cases have been reported in Kozhikode and Malappuram and fresh instances of Nipah virus have come down, thanks to the efforts of the State Health Department.

The virus can cause a range of mild to severe disease in domestic animals such as pigs while in humans, the infection causes a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis.

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Kerala Health minister K K Shailaja said that at least 175 people are being monitored by the authorities.

He said as the weather in Goa is hot at the moment, people are preferring to travel to Malaysia and Singapore whose packages are nearly similar to that of Kerala and Goa.

The natural host of the virus are fruit bats. Thrithala police reportedly booked Vadakanchery and Vaidyar for misleading people by ridiculing health department's claims about NiV infection.

Meanwhile, CEPI today announced a collaboration with Profectus BioSciences and Emergent BioSolutions to develop and make a vaccine against Nipah virus, which is harbored in bats and can spread to humans and livestock.

The symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, vomiting and fainting. The first outbreak of the disease occurred in a Malaysian village in 1998, leading to over 100 deaths, including those of many farmers who had contracted it through their pigs.

Nodal officers in all medical colleges and General Hospitals have been appointed and a Red Cross team has been placed at the Railway Station to check trains. Importantly, the virus has spread in north Kerala while most of the tourist destinations are in south Kerala, he added.

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