Nipah virus claims one more life in Kerala

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Recently, the little-known virus has claimed at least 11 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts in Kerala following the outbreak of the NiV infection in the state.

A health official asserts that "A rare virus has killed around 11 people in the neighboring state Kerala, where the medical screws are struggling to manage the spread of this brain-damaging virus. It will lead to unnecessary panic among those coming from the south Indian state of Kerala".

Extending a helping hand to the family of nurse Lini Puthussery, who died after contracting Nipah from her patients, the Kerala government on Wednesday chose to give a government job to her husband and Rs 10 lakh each to two of their children. So far, no cases of NiV have been reported in Telangana, but the state government is not taking any chances and called for a high level of surveillance.

The villagers also fear a repeat of the five dengue fever deaths that were reported in the area previous year. "All steps to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken", she added, urging people not to destroy colonies of fruit bats.

"People have been advised to keep distance from bats and pigs".

But he insisted Kerala was otherwise safe for tourists, as the infection "remains highly localised".

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Previously, infections and deaths had been limited to the rural Bikoro health zone, almost 150 kilometers away. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by.

"One of the key triggers is human encroachment into breeding areas of bats", says Dr Mahesh Kumar, Consultant Internal Medicine, Narayana Hospital.

As in the case of the first outbreak in 1998, bats may pass the virus to other animals and livestock, which can then pass it on to humans.

"It has been chose to postpone the reopening of the educational institutions in the districts to June 5 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Nipah virus", Shylaja told reporters.

There is now no vaccine or treatment to tackle Nipah, which has a mortality rate of around 70 percent. According to a report, soon after the dead bats were spotted, the school authorities immediately dialed the health ministry officials, who came and collected samples of the dead bats and also educated the teachers and students about Nipah virus, its causes, preventions and precautions. Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care.

NiV infection in humans has a range of effects, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory distress syndrome and fatal encephalitis.

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