Nipah virus: Travellers asked to avoid 4 Kerala districts

  • Nipah virus: Travellers asked to avoid 4 Kerala districts

Nipah virus: Travellers asked to avoid 4 Kerala districts

Infected people initially develop influenza-like symptoms of fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat. Symptoms can vary from acute respiratory infection to fatal encephalitis. The advisory said travelling to any part of Kerala is safe and if travellers wish to be extra conscious, they may avoid visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur and Wayanad districts when traveling to the state.

Medical personnel wearing protective suits check patients at the Medical College hospital in Kozhikode, Kerala state, India, May 21, 2018 amid a deadly outbreak of the Nipah virus, carried mainly by fruit bats. Ten persons have died of Nipah virus so far in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

According to NDTV, there is a fear that two people in Karnataka may also be infected with the virus. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

Health officials investigating the outbreak in Kerala, where the first death happened last week, have traced it to a well infested with bats from which the victims drew water.

"A few cases of infection by Nipah virus have been reported from Kozhikode district".

Professor Juliet Pulliam, director at South African DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA) at Stellenbosch University, warned the virus is more easily spread from people with respiratory symptoms.

A nurse who treated three of the Kerala victims succumbed to the infection on Monday, Health Minister K.K. Shailaja told a news briefing, where she announced payment of compensation to her family and others who lost family members to the infection.

On Twitter, the Bahraini consulate in Mumbai urged citizens "to be cautious 'til the situation is under control", while the UAE consulate in Kerala advised Emirati nationals to take precautions and follow the instructions of Indian authorities. The citizens in the Telangana State have been asked to not to panic as the state health department is undertaking measures to ensure that the hospitals here are well equipped.

The Kerala Health Ministry on Tuesday said the outbreak of Nipah virus is contained now and there was no need for the residents to worry.

Nipah Virus is named after the village of Kampung Sungai Nipah, in Malaysia, after pig farmers first contracted the disease during an outbreak in 1998 and 1999.

There are no drugs or vaccine to treat the Nipah virus, which has a high mortality rate, according the World Health Organization. Eating food which may have the droplets of saliva of infected bats can lead to the transmission of the virus.