NiV infection in humans has a range of outbreaks, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis.
The presence of the Nipah virus was confirmed after tests conducted on Sabith's brother Muhammed Salih, who died on May 18. "Trips to Kerala are usually for a minimum of six nights and seven days and are booked months before travel dates", she adds. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.
With death toll due to Nipah virus (NiV) up to 10, the Kerala government has issued an advise against travelling to four northern districts of Thiruvananthapuram: Kozhikode, Malappuram, Waynad and Kannur.
On Sunday, State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to stay vigilant and follow instructions from the health department.
Doctors N. Abhilash of the District Hospital (mobile number 9961730233) and Aneesh K.C. of the General Hospital, Thalassery, (9447804603) were appointed nodal officers to deal with Nipah virus infection treatment arrangements. The government has also called for an all-party meeting at Kozhikode on May 25 to discuss the issue.
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The government also made a decision to give Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the nine others who have lost their lives to Nipah.
The anganwadis in these regions too, have been asked to close down to avoid the spread of the virus among children. Transmission of Nipah virus to humans may occur after direct contact with infected bats, infected pigs or from other people infected with the virus. "The situation remains under control", said the department in the advisory as ANI reported. 10 of them have already died.
Strong epidemiological surveillance and a pro-active district health force can reduce the case fatality rate which is around 40-75% at the moment.
"I am not very anxious about my family back there as the state medical department is working very efficiently and we hope that the virus will be contained soon", he adds. Some 50 people died in the first two outbreaks. In the Siliguri outbreak, the virus apparently spread from one unidentified patient at the Siliguri District Hospital to 11 other patients.
Health experts say that there is no vaccine yet for the virus, which causes fever and breathlessness in affected patients as initial symptoms, and only intensive care can help an infected patient recover.