Nipah Virus not an epidemic: Centre

Nipah Virus not an epidemic: Centre

Nipah, an emerging virus transmitted through animals, is said to have claimed 11 lives in Kerala and is reported to have crossed into the borders of Karnataka as well.

File image of Lini Puthussery, who died after contracting Nipah virus from her patients. "Patients with fever and cold have been asked to be dealt with separately and N95 masks have been handed over to the staff to ensure that the disease is not spread", said the superintendent of Osmania Hospital as per a report by Deccan Chronicle.

"Each and every person who was in contact with any suspected patient is being monitored", Sarita said. "Without laboratory reports it can not be said that these bats have been killed by Nipah virus", Mr Choubey said, adding that he has already spoken to the Himachal Pradesh administration over the matter.

The presence of the Nipah virus was confirmed after tests conducted on Sabith's brother Muhammed Salih, who died on May 18.

An emergency meeting of health officials was chaired by District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali to review preparedness of hospitals in case the infection is reported in the district. A female relative who was with them in hospital also died later.

The health department also advised people to avoid consuming fruits that are half-eaten by bats or birds. Her body was cremated soon after her death over fears the virus could spread; her family wasn't able to see her.

The Kerala Health minister also said there was no need to be afraid of bats and their habitats should not to destroyed.

Kerala is on high alert over the infection and two control rooms have been opened in Kozhikode. "All cases are linked to the one family in Kozhikode - those who came in contact with them", Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department in Kerala, told CBS News.

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. It has urged travelers to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts.

The death of a nurse due to Nipah encephalitis and the detection of the virus in the blood sample of a nursing student in Kerala's Kozhikode district have exposed the vulnerability of health workers attending to patients infected with the highly contagious virus. Some 50 people died in the first two outbreaks.

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