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Nipah virus claims one more life in Kerala

29 May 2018

In an advisory, the central team has also asked for setting up of screening facilities of suspected cases at the exit and entry points of these districts.

The virus can cause flu-like symptoms and brain damage, and the outbreak has already killed 10 people in southern India, with at least nine more being treated, officials said. "Also, the crew is trying to minimalize the panic". In Karnataka, health officials have been put on alert. Symptoms of the virus were seen in a 20-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man in Mangalore after they travelled to neighbouring Kerala and came into contact with infected patients, Rajesh BV, a health official in Karnataka told the channel. "The situation is under control".

In a letter to the medical authorities, the director of Health Services, Braja Kishore Brahma, underscored the need to take preventive measures against the deadly virus as treatment options were limited.

Lini Puthussery, a nursing assistant, who had contracted the disease while attending to three victims of Nipah virus, succumbed to the infection on Monday.

Historically, it was first identified in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in the year 1998.

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Fruit bats are considered the natural host of the Nipah virus and health workers said they found dead bats in at a well at the home of an affected family.

An infected patient can fall into a coma within 48 hours.

"We have also made a decision to give a government job to the husband of the nurse Lini who died after attending to Nipah virus patients in Perambra in Kozhikode", he said.

Now there is no vaccine for either humans or animals.

The WHO has named Nipah as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside Ebola and Zika.

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Infectious illness outbreaks is usually a problem in India, the world's second most populous nation, the place an infection management and surveillance programs are weak, resulting in lots of of deaths yearly from illnesses akin to mosquito-borne dengue.

Meanwhile, health minister KK Shylaja declared an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the people who died from the infection.

Sharif said rapid response teams comprising six to seven members had been formed in every district to deal with the possible outbreak of Nipah infections.

The Nipah virus has claimed 10 lives so far in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

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Nipah virus claims one more life in Kerala