Another Indian state reports Nipah virus death, fanning fears of spread

Pearl Mccarthy
June 2, 2018

"We had indicated at the outset itself, there could be a possible second outbreak and the vulnerable are those who would have in come in contact with the affected".

However, the samples of the woman were found to be negative, Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja told reporters.

Mr. Sadanandan said that the isolation room in Government Medical College hospital, Kozhikode, is maintained following the Ebola handling guidelines.

Nipah virus is transmitted to humans through infected fruit bats, pigs or other Nipah-infected persons.

While all state level examinations, including that of the Kerala Public Service Commssion have been postponed, the national level tests including the UPSC examinations on Sunday would not be affected by the restrictions.

District Collector U.V. Jose said that the schools and professional colleges in Kozhikode will reopen only on June 12 as part of a preventive measure against Nipah infection.

The newly emerging zoonosis has so far claimed 16 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

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A control room has been opened at the Kozhikode medical college which will regularly contact them to know about their health conditions, the official said. Bats "may only be infectious for a week or two, and then they clear the virus and they're no longer infectious", said Jonathan Epstein, a veterinarian and epidemiologist at EcoHealth Alliance, New York, who's an expert on Nipah outbreaks, a report published in The Wire said.

Until the Nipah virus is fully under control, the team under the health director, which is monitoring the situation, would be retained.

Necessary protective gears, including masks and gloves, have been provided to the hospital staff.

Mr. Sadanandan said that medicines for Nipah infection have been brought from Australia and the same would reach Kozhikode by evening. Two people, who died of Nipah infection, had undergone treatment at this hospital.

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

After a superintendent of Kozhikode district court complex died due to Nipah, the district bar association had asked the authorities to stop the functioning of the district court for the time being. The Thamarassery diocese in a circular informed people about the church's decision that the holy communion, the sacrament commemorating the last supper in which bread and wine are placed on their tongues, will henceforth be kept on their palms as a precautionary step, until further notice.

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