UAE Consulate in Kerala issues advisory over Nipah outbreak

Posted May 29, 2018

India began a fresh round of tests to trace the origin of a rare brain-damaging virus that has killed 13 people, a health official said on Monday, as initial tests on animals suspected of carrying the Nipah virus showed no sign of the disease.

The Ministry had yesterday asked people not to "panic" saying the outbreak was "unlikely" to spread further as early and efficient containment measures were being taken.

The UAE Consulate of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram has issued a warning on its official Twitter handle regarding the recent Nipah virus outbreak.

Nipah, an emerging virus transmitted through animals, is said to have claimed 11 lives in Kerala and is reported to have crossed into the borders of Karnataka as well. So far, no cases of NiV have been reported in Telangana, but the state government is not taking any chances and called for a high level of surveillance.

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Health officials are investigating the outbreak in Kerala, where the first death was witnessed last week, have traced it to a well overspread with bats from which the victim drew water. Samples were taken from the dead bats and sent for investigation. Drinking this toddy or consuming bat-bitten fruits can also cause human infection.

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

Today the death toll of the virus - which has no vaccine - rose to 11, with nearly 100 people being treated as potential cases. "Sorry", Lini Puthusheri wrote her husband in a tangle of English and Malayalam, the main language of the south Indian state of Kerala.

Symptoms typically present one to two weeks after exposure and can include fever and headache, convulsions, respiratory and neurological problems, according to the agency.

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"This is a new situation for us; we have no prior experience in dealing with the Nipah virus", said K.K. Shailaja, health minister of the state, according to Reuters. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

As of now, there is no vaccine for the treatment of Nipah Virus. That time, the first infected were pigs that got the virus from fruit bats before transmitting it to pig farmers.

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

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