Kerala Nipah onslaught continues as quarantine remains a far cry
Kerala Nipah onslaught continues as quarantine remains a far cry
UAE, Bahrain caution citizens after Nipah virus outbreak
28 May, 2018, 06:38
Its natural host are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, and it was first identified just 20 years ago in 1998 when an outbreak occurred in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia.
This time around, the outbreak has been detected in the Southern state, where the first victims were three members of a family in Kozhikode, followed by a nurse who took care of the infected. Earlier this month, his two sons and another relative also died due to the virus infection. Another 14 people are confirmed to have contracted Nipah virus, while 22 are awaiting test results after showing symptoms.
It said the government was conducting surveillance in Kozhikode district, from where most of the cases were reported, besides the neighbouring districts of Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur. Sixty different samples have been collected from the spot and sent for examination.
The Kerala cabinet on Wednesday made a decision to give Rs 10 lakh each to the sons of Lini, the nurse who died due to Nipah virus. Lini Puthussery, 31, whose "selfless service" is being hailed as "heroic" left a note for her husband before dying. "We have not undertaken any active screening at airports because we believe that the infection is spreading mainly among lower income groups, and only people travelling by road from Kerala are likely to be carriers", he added. Two "control rooms" in the worst-hit Kozhikode district have been set up to closely monitor the spread of the virus. As of now, there is no vaccine for the treatment of Nipah Virus. The government had got in touch with the National Centre for Disease Control and the Central government immediately on learning about the viral fever outbreak and this was appreciated by the Cabinet, she said.
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The death toll from the deadly Nipah virus rose to 12 on Thursday as one more person undergoing treatment died this morning.
"Health staff are visiting individual households giving them specific instructions including about eating fruits from outside and other precautions", Mr U.V. Jose, the senior-most official in Kozhikode, told the AFP news agency.
Also called as NiV, the Nipah virus infection is spread mainly by fruit bats and can affect both humans as well as domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses, and sheep. There have also been reports of human-to-human transmission in a hospital in India.
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The 60-year-old man had been receiving treatment at a hospital in Kozhikode district in Kerala state, the outbreak's epicenter. The symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion.
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