Nipah Virus: Death toll rises to 14

Phillip Cunningham
May 28, 2018

In view of Nipah virus scare in Kerala, some nursing homes and private hospitals in Meerut have cancelled the leaves of their nurses, who wanted to go to their home state Kerala. Doctors have sent his blood and swab samples to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.

Meanwhile, the state government has chose to send five doctors of KMC to Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi for expert training to deal with Nipah outbreak.

The authorities have chose to conduct more tests to locate the source of the spread. "Also, Mohap is in continuous coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to implement the global recommendations", read the statement.

Officials in the southwestern state of Kerala said that in addition to the latest fatality two patients have tested positive for the virus spread by fruit bats, which induces flu-like symptoms that lead to agonizing encephalitis and coma.

The examples sent to Bhopal lab incorporated those taken from bats found in the place of the Kerala family, which is accepted to be the epicenter of the sickness.


Although there has been not a single case of Nipah virus registered in the state till date, but health department needs to remain extra cautious on the issue, Gupta said. "That is when we chose to bring the remaining members of the family to the hospital and keep them under observation", said Anoop Kumar.

An official confirmed that even though the bats were carrying the Nipah virus, the reason behind their death was some other.

Its natural host are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, and it was first identified just 20 years ago in 1998 when an outbreak occurred in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia. Advisories urging people to take precaution against the virus were issued, asking them to monitor fever cases if anybody has a history of travel to the affected areas, for instance, to Kerala recently. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care. Thrithala police reportedly booked Vadakanchery and Vaidyar for misleading people by ridiculing health department's claims about NiV infection.

Nipah virus is on CEPI's list of three targets, which also includes Lassa fever and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. The virus has made its presence felt in India in 2001 and 2007, both of the times in West Bengal where it killed close to 60 people before proper medical treatment could be meted out in affected areas.

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