UAE issues Kerala travel warning in wake of Nipah virus outbreak

Vaccine researcher

Nine more persons, with suspected Nipah infection, have been admitted to Kozhikode Medical College today. The officials mentioned as of now that the virus Nipah doesn't come from the bats.

"As soon as we collected the samples, we contacted National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, Maharashtra and as samples will reach Pune late due to distance, the authorities there suggested us to send the samples to the exclusive Nipah-testing laboratory at Alappuzzha, Kerala".

Simple good hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing and cooking food properly before consuming can help you avoid contracting the brain-damaging Nipah virus which has claimed 12 lives in Kerala till now and led to quarantining of at least 40 others, health experts suggest. Authorities have now made a decision to conduct more tests to locate its source.

The World Health Organization has listed it as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside Ebola and Zika.

The fourth country reporting Nipah virus infection is the Philippines.

Nipah virus can be transmitted by infected pigs, or by fruit bats, through their secretions of saliva, urine or faeces.

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"These included the samples of the bats which were found in the well in a house in Kerala's Perambra from where the initial death was reported". More worryingly, doctors found that the virus could spread among humans via contact with infected patients.

Worldwide efforts to develop a vaccine are underway following the Nipah virus outbreak in southern India earlier this week. "We are specifically advising people not to go to the Kerala considering that the situation is bad there", Hyderabad district medical and health officer Dr Padmaja told Mirror. Thrithala police reportedly booked Vadakanchery and Vaidyar for misleading people by ridiculing health department's claims about NiV infection.

V. Moosa, who died Thursday in a hospital in the southwest state of Kerala, had two sons and a sister-in-law succumb to the same deadly infection spread by fruit bats last week. He said people infected with the virus had been kept in isolation and in rest of the areas everything is normal. The first outbreak of the disease occurred in a Malaysian village in 1998, leading to over 100 deaths, including those of many farmers who had contracted it through their pigs.

It said that Nipah symptoms are not specific and include flu-like illness and hence can be confused with any respiratory illness.

About 100 families where someone has had contact with infected people are being carefully monitored.

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