18 dead bats in HPs Nahan causes Nipah virus scare

UAE, Bahrain caution citizens after Nipah virus outbreak

When the virus infects human beings, it could range from merely being asymptomatic to also developing acute respiratory syndrome to fatal encephalitis.

At least nine other people have died in the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode, formerly known as Calicut. "The travel ban issued in the Gulf countries will affect Arab travellers who come to Kerala during the June-August period". The Nipah Virus, also known as NiV, is transferred to humans from fruit bats.

Kerala state health minister K.K. Shylaja told reporters Tuesday that there had been no new cases of Nipah, though it was not immediately clear when the last case was reported.

On Sunday, State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to stay vigilant and follow instructions from the health department.

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"Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe", health secretary Rajeev Sadanandan is quoted as saying in Indian media.

While 18 people with specific symptoms are admitted at hospitals in Kozhikode, 22 patients with suspected Nipah cases, all from Malappuram district, are admitted at Kozhikode Medical College for observation.

In 2004, residents in Bangladesh also caught the infections after they ate contaminated fruits or consumed products such as raw date palm juice that were contaminated by saliva or urine of infected fruit bats.

In Kozhikode, from where seven deaths have been reported, district collector U.V. Jose has ordered temporary halt to all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth, Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna.

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The anganwadis in these regions too, have been asked to close down to avoid the spread of the virus among children. 10 of them have already died.

"Due to the spread of the unsafe # NipahVirus in Kerala, South India, citizens are advised to be cautious, till situation is under control", a tweet from the consulate said. It is localised and not an epidemic, all kinds of precautions are being taken. The virus is spread after the fruit bat throw consumed fruits which are later eaten by animals or human.

The natural host of the virus is believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus. Some 50 people died in the first two outbreaks. Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care. There has been a massive outbreak of the virus in Kerala.

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