Another victim of Nipah Virus found in Kozhikode, Kerela

Another victim of Nipah Virus found in Kozhikode, Kerela

A 20-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man are being treated for symptoms of the disease in the city of Mangalore after they travelled to Kerala and had contact with infected patients.

India's national Health Minister, J. P. Nadda, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that he had instructed officials, "to leave no stone unturned in terms of proactively countering the Nipah virus threat". Before you hit the panic button, we roped in Dr Tripti Gilada, consulting physician at Unison Medicare & Research Centre in Mumbai, which specialises in infectious diseases. Telangana Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy, however, said there was no need for panic as the state had not recorded any confirmed case of Nipah virus.

"WHO has been informed about Nipah virus cases being reported in a family from a village in Kozhikode district of Kerala", he said.

Doctors N. Abhilash of the District Hospital (mobile number 9961730233) and Aneesh K.C. of the General Hospital, Thalassery, (9447804603) were appointed nodal officers to deal with Nipah virus infection treatment arrangements.

Earlier, Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam appealed to the people of the state to not to panic over the rumours being circulated about the spread of the virus and requested everyone to follow the advisories issued by the State Health Department.

Two control rooms have been opened up in Kozhikode as high alert has been sounded in Kerala over the infection. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

It's believed that a nurse treating the victims in Kerala has also died.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) describes Nipah infection as a "newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans".

There are worries the brain-damaging virus has spread to a second state after two suspected cases were reported in neighbouring Karnataka.

Nipa Virus aka NiV was first identified in Malaysia in 1988.

"Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe. However, if travellers wish to be extra cautious, they may avoid the four districts", Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said.

There are still 17 patients under treatment.

"But human-to-human spread can also occur if there is close contact with an infected person through hospital staff or family members".

Health experts say there is no vaccine yet for the virus, which causes fever and breathlessness in affected patients as initial symptoms, and only intensive care can help.

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