Medicine

Nipah claims two more lives in Kerala, minister warns of second outbreak

Nipah claims two more lives in Kerala, minister warns of second outbreak

Owing to the Nipah virus scare, schools in the northern districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram would re-open only on June 5.

Kolkata: The fluid samples of a soldier, who died in Kolkata, days after returning from his hometown in Kerala, have tested "negative" for Nipah virus infection, a defence official said today.

Kozhikode: A 39-year-old woman, who was under observation for Nipah virus symptoms, died on June 2.

Chennai: Acute respiratory distress syndrome and encephalitis have been observed in the current Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak, the first to be reported in Kerala, and the third NiV outbreak known to have occurred in India, according to World Health Organisation (WHO).

The health authorities had drawn up a list of 1,949 people who had come in contact with the Nipah-affected persons to monitor their health condition. Since the natural hosts of the Nipah virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus, the government is trying to track down the infected virus to stop its spread, but the delay has caused several deaths.

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Health minister K K Shailaja said that those in contact with Nipah patients should be cautious till the end of the virus's incubation period and, hence, daily screening of these people has become essential to stop the spread of this unsafe virus. He is suspected to have contacted it from one of the earlier victims.

"We have issued instructions telling people not to consume fruits which have been bitten by bats", said Saikia adding however that they have not yet imposed any restrictions on people for visiting Kerala.

A soldier has died here of suspected Nipah virus infection, a Defence spokesman said here on Wednesday.

Last week, the Kerala government issued a health advisory for people traveling to the affected districts. The report quoted him adding that since the number of infected fruit bats are "very few" at a given time, it becomes hard to find the actual source of infection.

The central experts from the National Centre for Disease Control are continuing to evaluate the situation and taking necessary measures, said a press release quoting the minister.


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