18 dead bats in HPs Nahan causes Nipah virus scare

Nipah: Medicines to be brought from Malaysia, says minister

Nipah virus toll in Indian state rises to 11

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.

Ajit Kumar, retired professor of social work from Matru Sewa Sangh, who is now on a visit to Kerala, says that it is the northern part of the state which has been affected.

An outbreak of a deadly virus that attacks the brain has killed at least 10 people in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The fact that the virus has infected people in only two districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram, those hailing from other districts are not having much concerns. "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.

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

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The Nipah Virus began in the northern district of Kozhikode at the weekend that has now spread to the neighbouring Malappuram district in Kerala.

He said as part of the general advisory, "a circular would be issued to all private and government doctors in the state to stay vigilant about symptoms of the virus being seen in any patient".

Officers of the Health Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Forest Department arrived at the Burma Papadi School, following a directive from the Deputy Commissioner, and took samples from the dead bats for further investigation. In Karnataka, health officials have been put on alert. There is no confirmation as yet that the virus has spread out of Kerala.

Healthcare facilities have been asked to ensure isolation facilities, ventilator support and infection control practices, and coordinate to enhance surveillance for unusual illness and death of animals.

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But this is not the first outbreak of Nipah virus in India.

"All steps to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken", she added, urging people not to destroy colonies of fruit bats.

There are no drugs or vaccine to treat the Nipah virus, which has a high mortality rate, according the World Health Organization. Eating food which may have the droplets of saliva of infected bats can lead to the transmission of the virus. The primary treatment is intensive supportive care.

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