First day without death after Nipah virus confirmed in Kozhikode

First day without death after Nipah virus confirmed in Kozhikode

Bhubaneswar: With the deadly Nipah Virus (NiV) reportedly claiming lives of 12 persons in Kerela, the Odisha government has issued an alert to five medical colleges and 30 District Headquarters Hospitals (DHHs) in the wake of the virus outbreak.

A bat-infested well in a house in India's southern state of Kerala's Kozhikode district has been identified as the likely epicenter of the third outbreak of Nipah virus in this country since 2001, health officials said Wednesday.

However, they said that people should avoid travelling to the four northern districts of Kerala - Kozhikode, Malappuram, Waynad and Kannur - to be "extra cautious".

A nurse who treated three of the Kerala victims succumbed to the infection on Monday, Health Minister K.K. Shailaja told a news briefing, where she announced payment of compensation to her family and others who lost family members to the infection.

While the cause of the outbreak is still being investigated, a team of health experts who visited the family's house have linked it to dead bats found in the home's water well.

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

The Hindu reported that 60-year-old V. Moosa, who was under treatment at the Baby Memorial Hospital in Kozhikode, died this morning.

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Umap said orders have been issued across the state to keep a sharp watch for any symptoms of the virus in the animals.

This comes even as the authorities said that the situation was under control.

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.

This apart, in order to control the spread of Nipah Virus, the Government of India is taking several steps while efforts are focused on surveillance and spreading awareness for risk assessment and management of the disease.

The infection causes severe diseases in both animals and humans.

There is now no vaccine or treatment to tackle Nipah, which has a mortality rate of around 70 percent. That time, the first infected were pigs that got the virus from fruit bats before transmitting it to pig farmers. Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care.