Medicine

India Nipah virus outbreak death toll touches 17

India Nipah virus outbreak death toll touches 17

On the flip side, Ismail probably got infected from Md Sadik, who was suspected to be Kerala's first Nipah virus victim.

Authorities said that given the proximity of Assam to Meghalaya, the fake news of the virus could have created a sense of fear and panic among people in Assam too.

The natural host of the virus is believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

At a press conference in Kozhikode on Saturday, Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja said Roja, a resident of Thalassery in Kannur district, was undergoing treatment at the Pariyaram Medical College in Kannur.

Of the 203 samples tested for Nipah, there have been 18 positive cases, of whom 16 persons have lost their lives. Both animal-to-human and human-to-human transmission have been documented. The officials have also asked those who had made contact with Nikhil and Rasil who died on Wednesday and Thursday respectively after being infected with the Nipah, should also communicate with the Nipah cell. The report quoted him adding that since the number of infected fruit bats are "very few" at a given time, it becomes hard to find the actual source of infection. "So far 1407 people are in the contact list", Dr Jayasree, Kozhikode District Medical Officer, told The News Minute.

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Bhutanese students studying in India should seek immediate medical attention and update with the education ministry if they experience any signs of Nipah virus, according to an advisory issued by the ministry on May 30. Date palm sap also contains it.

He went on to laud the local doctors for smartly stopping the virus in its feared tracks. "Maintain respiratory hygiene (avoid spiting) and coughing etiquettes (use clean handkerchief)".

Healthcare workers should use full barrier personal protective equipment before examining patients.

Being a viral infection, there are no specific drugs available to treat Nipah. However, according to World Health Organization, the infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to sick pigs and bats in endemic areas and non-consumption of fruits partially eaten by infected bats or drinking raw date palm sap, toddy, juice.


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