Nipah Virus: Outbreaks in Karnataka, Symptoms & precautions

Desiree Steele
May 26, 2018

The virus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, is hard to diagnose and the symptoms include fever, vomiting and headaches.

"Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe".

Nipah can be spread by fruit bats, pigs and through human-to-human contact.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Wednesday said that the outbreak of Nipah virus (NiV), which has claimed 10 lives, has been contained and there was no need to panic.

He declined to comment on the Mangalore cases, but identified the districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad for tourists in Kerala to avoid, as being close to the outbreak and under scrutiny by health officials.

"Take care of our children", wrote Puthusheri, who was infected with Nipah virus while caring for sick patients. The government has also called for an all-party meeting at Kozhikode on May 25 to discuss the issue.

Johny Abraham George, a member of the Kerala Government's Tourism Advisory Committee, and CMD of Intersight Tours & Travels, said the state's tourism industry has been facing cancellations over the past five-six days.

In Kozhikode, from where seven deaths have been reported, District Collector U V Jose has ordered temporary stoppage of all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth, Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna.

"Due to the spread of the risky # NipahVirus in Kerala, South India, citizens are advised to be cautious, till situation is under control", a tweet from the consulate said.

Meanwhile, following directions of the Union Health Minister, J P Nadda, a multi-disciplinary Central Team led by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is presently in Kerala constantly reviewing the situation of the Nipah Virus Disease. But movement of people from one district to another could spread the virus, fears Ravi Kurup, a caterer who is scheduled to visit his native state after his daughter's Std XII board results.

Strong epidemiological surveillance and a pro-active district health force can reduce the case fatality rate which is around 40-75% at the moment. There has been a massive outbreak of the virus in Kerala. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus. The virus also transmits from humans to humans. Treatment for human cases is management treatment along with intensive supportive care.

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