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26 May 2018, 01:24 | Melissa Porter
Nipah virus has claimed 12 lives in Kerala 20 people are being treated for the infection
The National Centre for Disease Control has issued high alert across the country after an outbreak of the Nipah virus (NiV) infection in Kerala.
On Wednesday, state health department issued advisory to health officials for early detection and isolation of NiV suspects.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Cabinet on Tuesday approved a draft to bear all the medical expenses of the diseased and also announced Rs 20 lakh compensation for to the kin of Lini Puthussery, a nurse who died while treating persons infected by Nipah virus.
This medicine is the only one which could control the Nipah virus to some extent. Bats act as the host of the virus, which spreads to other animals through their excreta or droppings.
The administration in Nahan sub-division of Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh has geared up to curb spread of the virus, and a special meeting of officials from different departments were held.
When the virus infects human beings, it could range from merely being asymptomatic to also developing acute respiratory syndrome to fatal encephalitis. Out of the 11 deaths, eight are from Kozhikode and three from Malappuram.
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans.
"More than a third of patients in previous outbreaks have died". That time, the first infected were pigs that got the virus from fruit bats before transmitting it to pig farmers. Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care. Infected people initially develop influenza-like symptoms of fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat.
What are the symptoms of the infection?
Dr Brendan Payne, honorary consultant in Infectious Diseases and Virology at Newcastle University, confirmed there is no risk from contact with pigs or bats in the UK.
In 2004, residents in Bangladesh also caught the infections after they ate contaminated fruits or consumed products such as raw date palm juice that were contaminated by saliva or urine of infected fruit bats.
Kozhikode: Health minister K K Shylaja said that medicines from Malaysia would be brought to treat the Nipah virus outbreak.
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