Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Nipah deaths in Kerala, two in critical condition; high alert sounded

Nipah deaths in Kerala, two in critical condition; high alert sounded

Meanwhile, Bahrain has asked its nationals to avoid travelling to India's Kerala until an outbreak of the rare Nipah virus is under control, the Gulf state's consulate in Mumbai said on its Twitter account on Wednesday. Officers of the health, animal husbandry and forest departments have taken samples of the dead bats for further investigation.

In neighbouring Malappuram, where three persons have died due to the virus, orders have been issued in four panchayats to stop Anganwadi classes for the time being.

"Take care of our children", wrote Puthusheri, who was infected with Nipah virus while caring for sick patients. The symptoms include fever and headaches, followed by drowsiness and confusion, leading to possible coma and death within a week. Earlier this month, his two sons and another relative also died due to the virus infection.

MPs, MLAs, other representatives of people and leaders of various political parties would attend the meeting, Health minister K K Shylaja today said.

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"The principal of the school and the students said that bats come here every year, and eventually perish, however, this year, their numbers are far greater than in previous years", Sharma said.

"They are all contacts of the confirmed cases and their lab results are awaited". The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus. A health department official said the distribution of protective gear in hospitals began on May 19. "All the doctors and nurses who treat suspected patients are using it", he said.

Dead bats were found in a well at their home in Kozhikode district - the epicentre of the viral outbreak that has authorities on high alert. "It is hard to know if the symptoms are of Nipah virus or ordinary influenza", says Kurup, adding that unless the situation clears, he will not visit the state.

The government also made a decision to give Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the nine others who have lost their lives to Nipah.

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No. Previous outbreaks have been reported in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos and Malaysia.

While 45 people succumbed to the virus when it broke out in Siliguri town in West Bengal, some five people died in the second outbreak in 2007 in the state's Nadia district.

There is now no vaccine or treatment to tackle Nipah, which has a mortality rate of around 70 percent.

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