Nipah virus claims one more life, Death toll rises to 11

Nipah virus claims one more life, Death toll rises to 11

Indian health officials were checking on Wednesday if a rare, brain-damaging virus had spread to a second state after two suspected cases reported in southern Karnataka, as the death toll in adjacent Kerala, where the outbreak began, rose to 11.

According to the ministry, of the 12 deaths so far due to the virus, nine people died in Kozhikode district and three in Mallappuram.

Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman's Embassy in New Delhi has warned its citizens not to travel to India due to the spread of the Nipah virus, except in cases of urgent need. "The situation is under control and the infection is totally localized", it said.

MPs, MLAs, other representatives of people and leaders of various political parties would attend the meeting, Health minister K K Shylaja today said.

Also, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is strictly monitoring the spate and taking steps to put off its further spread.

When the virus infects human beings, it could range from merely being asymptomatic to also developing acute respiratory syndrome to fatal encephalitis.

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Most of the deaths reported are from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts from where 11 deaths have now been reported and 18 are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, including one in Wayanad. Around 15 bats were found dead in a government school in Nahan, reported ANI.

The National Centre for Disease Control has issued high alert across the country after an outbreak of the Nipah virus (NiV) infection in Kerala.

Moosa's sons Muhammed Salih and Muhammed Sabith, and his brother Moideen's wife Mariam were the first victims of the Nipah virus outbreak in the state. In the year 2004, the same virus arrived in Bangladesh through infected fruit bats. As a result of this, the patients with cold and fever are being treated with precaution.

The experimental vaccine being developed by the biotech companies has produced promising results in animal tests, following more than 15 years of research by scientists at the USA -based Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Historically, it was first identified in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in the year 1998. Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care.

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

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