Nipah | Health dept advisory asks tourists to avoid 4 Kerala districts

The rare Nipah virus which is spread by fruit bats has killed 11 people in India

The rare Nipah virus which is spread by fruit bats has killed 11 people in India

The outbreak of deadly Nipah Virus (NiV) in Kerala, which claimed over 10 lives, has triggered a panic situation in the neighbouring states.

"A few cases of infection by Nipah virus have been reported from Kozhikode district".

The virus can cause flu-like symptoms and brain damage, and the outbreak has already killed 10 people in southern India, with at least nine more being treated, officials said.

An outbreak of the rare Nipah virus in the south Indian state has also put scores more in hospital.

Officials set a net over a well to catch bats in Kozhhikode district of Kerala which is the epicentre of the outbreak
Officials set a net over a well to catch bats in Kozhhikode district of Kerala which is the epicentre of the outbreak

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.

India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said Tuesday that public health crews found numerous bats in a water well that had been used by three family members who were among the victims.

According to local officials, these bats come every year and they die as well, but this year their numbers were comparatively high.

"People have been advised to keep distance from bats and pigs". The virus, which is released through bats' saliva, urine and excreta, typically spreads due to bats consuming fruits on trees.

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Kozhikode, May 28 Educational institutions in Malappuram and Kozhikode, including professional colleges, will reopen on June 5 after summer vacation in the wake of the outbreak of Nipah virus in these districts.

"Take care of our children", wrote Puthusheri, who was infected with Nipah virus while caring for sick patients.

Historically, it was first identified in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in the year 1998.

But he insisted Kerala was otherwise safe for tourists, as the infection "remains highly localised". The infection presents as an encephalitic syndrome marked by fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and potentially death.

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The central team will make a guideline on the kind of treatment to be given to the patients affected with the disease.

Experts believe both Nipah and Hendra are spread by flying foxes - bats of the genus Pteropus - with humans becoming infected by exposure to bat urine and saliva on fruit, or from infected pigs and horses.

Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since 1998 and has a mortality rate of almost 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization. Most human cases are dealt with through supportive care.

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