Samples of Fruit-Eating Bats to Be Tested for Nipah Virus

The samples were obtained from the well at a house in Kerala's Kozhikode where four members of the family succumbed to the virus

People were advised not to panic about the Nipah virus, adding all medical colleges in the state are prepared to deal with the situation if it occurs. The officials mentioned as of now that the virus Nipah doesn't come from the bats.

The samples from bats found dead in Himachal Pradesh, which were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, have been found negative, the officer said.

Fruit bats may not be the reason for the mind harming NIPAH (NiV) infection that executed 12 individuals and contaminated 20 in southern Kerala, a restorative test report has said. The latest victim, Ebin from Palazhi, who was battling the virus in a private hospital in Kozhikode passed away on Sunday afternoon. It is related to the Hendra virus, and is one of the World Health Organization's priority diseases.

The public health apparatus in Kerala responded swiftly to the crisis as the presence of the virus was confirmed in the second case. Human infections can result from contacts with infected pigs. His eldest son had also died, but his samples were not tested.

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Health Minister K K Shylaja told reporters that the authorities had collected details of people who had direct contact with the deceased persons and all of them are now under observation.

The virus, spread through contact with bodily fluids, has a mortality rate of about 70 per cent.

The Foreign Office has alerted travellers that "there have been official reports of a Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala". Two members of his family had earlier died of the virus.

Speaking to SOM this morning, Dr. S. Chandrashekar, Acting Medical Superintendent of K.R. Hospital, said that as serious symptoms were observed in Raghu, he was shifted to the dedicated (isolated) ward set up for Nipah-infected people.

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"For example, people suffering from fever are treated for it, for those with breathlessness support is provided to them with artificial ventilators, and for those with seizures or convulsions anti-epileptic drugs are given as a support to the brain", Menon said.

In some cases human-to-human transmission has also been documented.

First identified among pig farmers in Malaysia, the disease also surfaced in Siliguri, West Bengal, in 2001 and again in 2007.

So far, there is no vaccine for Nipah virus, and treatments are mainly supportive care for its symptoms which include mental confusion, fever, vomiting, encephalitis, and disorientation.

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