Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Rare Nipah virus claims fourth family member in India

Rare Nipah virus claims fourth family member in India

Emiratis in Kerala have been warned about a deadly virus that's killed several people.

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

The first fatal cases in Kerala were reported on Saturday from a family in Kozhikode, as two brothers in their late 20s and their 50-year-old aunt died from the virus.

Those living in areas with a bat population or where travellers from Kerala are staying should contact the nearest government hospital if any symptoms of Nipah are found, Chouhan said and added the symptoms are headaches, fever, body ache, cough, problems in breathing, vomiting, diarrhoea, laziness and others. The symptoms are nearly identical to influenza, including fever and muscle ache and in some cases patients have brain inflammation as well. Currently, it is suspected to have been triggered by fruit bats in Kerala, and then transmitted to humans upon consumption of fruits that had been in contact with the infected mammals.

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"We have also made a decision to give a government job to the husband of the nurse Lini who died after attending to Nipah virus patients in Perambra in Kozhikode", he said.

Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since 1998 and has a mortality rate of almost 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

Of the 13 confirmed cases, 10 persons have died.

"We have directed the general medicine departments regarding the Nipah virus".

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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.

It's believed that a nurse treating the victims in Kerala has also died. Human-to-human transmission has also been documented, including in a hospital setting in India, the World Health Organization says. I may not be able to see you again. Sorry. Take care of our children properly...

What precautions can be taken to combat the Nipah virus?

The local administration, with the help of central health ministry team, has set up a task force with a designated control room, while a nodal officer has been appointed to collect data and monitor the activities to ensure preventive measures.

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

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A state government statement said "travelling to any part of Kerala is safe". The primary treatment is supportive care.

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