After Kerala, Nipah virus suspected in Himachal Pradesh

Kerala PSC Postpones Civil Police Officers OMR Exams

In regard to the current outbreak, authorities are testing local livestock and food, as well as the fruits of a mango tree in the home of a family that lost four members to the virus, to see if the fruits have been bitten and infected by bats.

Health Minister KK Shailaja told a news briefing at least 17 patients were now confirmed as having Nipah - which was first discovered in 1998.

Prior this, Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam had appealed to the people of the state not to panic over the rumors being circulated about the spread of the virus and urged everyone to follow the advisories issued by the health department. "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. The nurse succumbed to Nipah virus infection on Tuesday morning at Taluk Hospital in Perambra.

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It said the government was conducting surveillance in Kozhikode district, from where most of the cases were reported, besides the neighbouring districts of Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.

Blood and body fluid samples from suspected cases in Kerala have been send to the National Institute of Virology in the western city of Pune for study, officials said.

"Since there are many foreigners who travel to Kerala, we are advising they can avoid these districts for abundant caution", he told Reuters. She was taken to a private hospital for treatment.The letter read: "Sajeesh Etta, am nearly on the way". She is believed to have contracted the virus when she was visiting her relative in Kasargod who died of the virus infection. Lini Puthussery, 31, whose "selfless service" is being hailed as "heroic" left a note for her husband before dying.

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"We have opened a control room and we are always on the alert and we are doing everything possible to keep things under check". They feel that bats may not be behind the outbreak. There is no known vaccine that can treat Nipah. "These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours", the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Nipah virus is a highly contagious disease that is spread by fruit bats. Strategies include preventing farm animals from eating fruit contaminated by bats and avoiding consumption of contaminated date palm sap.

Human-to-human transmission of the virus has been recorded in previous outbreaks in India that killed as many as 50 people.

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