Kerala: One more person succumbs to Nipah virus, toll rises to 17

Besides 1,353 persons who had interacted with the affected before the confirmation of the disease are under observation

Besides 1,353 persons who had interacted with the affected before the confirmation of the disease are under observation

People have been asked to be extremely alert.

As a precautionary measure due to the Nipah virus, schools in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts did not re-open today after summer vacation and would commence their new academic session from June 5. A person infected with the Nipah Virus can also go in coma.

Large-scale awareness campaigns are also being held in the two districts.

"The health department had earlier itself evaluated that there was a possibility that those who had come in contact with the Nipah affected patients, could be affected by the virus in the second phase and preventive measures have been taken", the minister said.

Over the last few weeks, several state governments in India have issued health advisories, warning people of the dangers as well as the symptoms of the Nipah virus infection. There is no vaccine or cure for Nipah at present. While they have found no cases of Nipah virus infection from these states, NIV scientists have detected three cases of Japanese Encephalitis.

The natural host of the virus is believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

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Experts suggest it's hard to find the infected fruit bats as they recover after a week or two but, in the meantime, they may infect people.

MCH sources said that Roja was shifted to the isolation ward, after she was admitted here two days ago, as she was a relative of Asokan who had died recently after contracting NiV. The report quoted him adding that since the number of infected fruit bats are "very few" at a given time, it becomes hard to find the actual source of infection.

Besides, a team of doctors from the Manipal and Thiruvananthapuram Medical colleges are also evaluating the situation. The condition of the other two patients is stable.

Avoid unnecessary travel to the affected districts of Kerala.

Wash hands with soap properly after heaving meal or after buying fruits and vegetables.

No human infection of Nipah virus reported in Delhi till date. Eating food which may have the droplets of saliva and urine of infected bats can lead to the transmission of the virus. Thamarassery Bishop Mar Remigiose Inchananiyil in a circular also urged believers to follow the directions of authorities to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

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