Nipah virus claims one more life, Death toll rises to 11

Nipah virus claims one more life, Death toll rises to 11

Henrietta Brewer
May 26, 2018

A fourth member of the same Indian family has died from the rare Nipah virus, officials said Thursday, as authorities scramble to contain an outbreak that has claimed 11 lives.

Although state health officials in Kerala - a popular travel destination for Gulf tourists - have declared the state safe, they have cautioned travellers against visiting the districts of Kozhikode, Malappura, Waynad and Kannur. That time, the first infected were pigs that got the virus from fruit bats before transmitting it to pig farmers. Besides, about 160 samples have been sent for testing at the virology institute.

Dr Sarita told reporters that the condition of the three patients who are infected with Nipah virus is stable.

The Kerala Health Ministry on Tuesday said the outbreak of Nipah virus is contained now and there was no need for the residents to worry.

The outbreak of the virus infection, which is a zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well which was infested with bats and belonged to the Moosa family. NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998. Intermediate hosts of this instance were found to be pigs.

Although the number of patients coming for treatment with symptoms of Nipah virus infection has gone down, Kozhikode Collector U.V. Jose has banned till May 31 all public meetings and even training courses, including tuitions, to avoid assembly of people. What is being seen now is that if anyone has fever, there is a panic and when a patient tests positive, neighbours and relatives of the affected also turns panicky.

Treatment options are limited mostly to supportive care.

The minister added that no new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. However, an incubation period as long as 45 days has been reported.

"A few cases of infection by Nipah virus have been reported from Kozhikode district". Eating food which may have the droplets of saliva of infected bats can lead to the transmission of the virus.

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

There is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, carried by fruit bats and spread through contact with bodily fluids, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

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