Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Man dies of Nipah virus in Kozhikode, toll reaches 14

Man dies of Nipah virus in Kozhikode, toll reaches 14

"While the incubation period is long for some, on an average in 90 per cent of cases, the disease manifests itself within two weeks of exposure to the virus", Menon said. However, tests at the National Institute of Virology in Pune ruled out that the bats were carrying Nipah virus.

State health authorities claim things are under control and the Union Health Ministry maintains virus outbreak is a localised occurrence and there is no need to panic, fear runs high across the country. The latest victim, Ebin from Palazhi, who was battling the virus in a private hospital in Kozhikode passed away on Sunday afternoon. Nitin Grover, a travel agent, said, "I had received booking requests for Kerala, but I refused to do the same because the news on the virus is spread worldwide". Like Zika and Ebola, Nipah virus is on the World Health Organisation's list of emerging "Blueprint priority" diseases, which have the potential to cause a global pandemic. However, Bihar reports encephalitis cases every summer, and as one of the reasons of death from Nipah is brain fever - also a symptom of encephalitis - the state health society has chose to keep track.

Officials in a third Indian state were checking on Friday if two people had been infected with the brain-damaging Nipah virus that has killed 12 in southern Kerala, although the government described the outbreak as minor.

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Recently 21 samples of pigs and bats were forwarded to Animal Disease Laboratory at the capital city of Madhya Pradesh.

The Foreign Office has alerted travellers that "there have been official reports of a Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala". The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus. This infection is very rare and also there is no vaccine available as of now. The virus also spreads directly from human-to-human through close contact with people's secretions and excretions.

"There are two other confirmed Nipah patients undergoing treatment".

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Dr Biju Mohan, consultant physician at Nirmala Hospital, Vellimadukunnu, said lack of an awareness session resulted in people worrying to step out of their homes.

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

Early symptoms resemble those of influenza - fever, muscle ache, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion.

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Nipah virus first appeared in domestic pigs in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.

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