Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Nipah virus claims one more life in Kerala

Nipah: Medicines to be brought from Malaysia, says minister Nipah virus toll in Indian state rises to 11
Delia Stanley | 26 May, 2018, 08:34

NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis. Of the 13 confirmed cases, 11 people have died so far.

The reason for fear is because of the fact that fruit bats are the major carriers of the virus.

The deaths in Kerala is the third instance in India's history of a Nipah virus outbreak, the first two times being in West Bengal's Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia in 2007.

On Sunday, State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to stay vigilant and follow instructions from the health department. "However, if travellers wish to be extra cautious, they may avoid the four districts", health secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said.

With Moosa's death, the Nipah toll has touched 12.

The government has also called for an all-party meeting at Kozhikode on May 25 to disucss the issue.

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.

Johny Abraham George, a member of the Kerala Government's Tourism Advisory Committee, and CMD of Intersight Tours & Travels, said the state's tourism industry has been facing cancellations over the past five-six days.

Kozhikode district collector U.V. Jose has ordered temporary stoppage of all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth, Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna.

In a letter to the medical authorities, the director of Health Services, Braja Kishore Brahma, underscored the need to take preventive measures against the deadly virus as treatment options were limited. "The situation is under control".

Surveillance has been increased in all districts.

Investigators have traced the recent outbreak of Nipah to a bat-infested well in Kerala from where the first victims drew water.

"I am not very anxious about my family back there as the state medical department is working very efficiently and we hope that the virus will be contained soon", he adds.

"More than a third of patients in previous outbreaks have died".

There is now no vaccine or drug available for humans or animals and the main treatment is intensive support care for those who are suffering from respiratory and neurologic problems.

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