Understanding Nipah virus & public health effect

India's fruit exports face a strange threat- Nipah virus

A fourth member of the same Indian family has died from the rare Nipah virus, officials said Thursday, as authorities scramble to contain an outbreak that has claimed 11 lives.

Although the number of patients coming for treatment with symptoms of Nipah virus infection has gone down, Kozhikode Collector U.V. Jose has banned till May 31 all public meetings and even training courses, including tuitions, to avoid assembly of people.

Gulf News reported that Kerala "is in a state of panic after many cases of the killer Nipah virus were detected".

While 18 people with specific symptoms are admitted at hospitals in Kozhikode, 22 patients with suspected Nipah cases, all from Malappuram district, are admitted at Kozhikode Medical College for observation.

Transmission of NiV takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from other NiV-infected persons.

Earlier, Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam appealed to the people of the state to not to panic over the rumours being circulated about the spread of the virus and requested everyone to follow the advisories issued by the State Health Department. There has been a massive outbreak of the virus in Kerala.

The villagers also fear a repeat of the five dengue fever deaths that were reported in the area previous year.

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This apart, in order to control the spread of Nipah Virus, the Government of India is taking several steps while efforts are focused on surveillance and spreading awareness for risk assessment and management of the disease. Some 50 people died in the first two outbreaks.

"The initial death due to the fatal virus was reported from a house in the Perambra area of the Kozhikode district".

The major treatment for infected is "Intensive Supportive Care", according to United Nations health body.

Moosa's sons Muhammed Salih and Muhammed Sabith, and his brother Moideen's wife Mariam were the first victims of the Nipah virus outbreak in the state.

Two more people who have tested positive for the virus are critically ill, and some 40 people are in quarantine.

"WHO has been informed about Nipah virus cases being reported in a family from a village in Kozhikode district of Kerala", he said. The virus also transmits from humans to humans.

The mortality rate can reach as high as 70 per cent, and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no vaccine for either humans or animals.

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