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Avoid a summer trip to Kerala as Nipah virus strikes again

Nipah Virus, KeralaIf you are planning to spend your summer vacation in Kerala, be alert and try to avoid this trip. Deadly Nipah virus is spreading in the state once again. Nipah virus had killed 17 people last year.

Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja has confirmed that 23-year-old college student is suffering from Nipah virus. She said that Pune based the National Institute of Virology (NIV) has confirmed the presence of the virus. The patient is admitted in a private hospital in Ernakulam.

The Kerala government has asked people not to panic. A control room has been set up by the district administration in Ernakulam to clear all apprehensions about the virus. Public have been advised to call 1077 to clear doubts. The 23-year-old studied in a college in Thodupuzha in Idukki . He had stayed in Thrissur recently. According to Thrissur district medical officer, the student was in Thrissur only for four days and had been suffering from fever.

The government has sent an alert to all District Collectors of the state. Cough corners have been set up across hospitals in Kerala. Isolation wards have been arranged in Medical Colleges in Thrissur, Ernakulam and Kozhikode.

At present, four more people, including two nurses, are down with fever. Two of them had come in contact with the 23-year-old man. Over 80 people, among them 22 students, were put under surveillance on Monday.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said he is in touch with the Kerala Health Minister. “The centre will send monoclonal antibody (medicines) to Kerala. Everything that needs to be done in a scientific manner has been initiated. Nothing to panic,” Harsh Vardhan said. He said the wildlife department has been told to catch bats to test presence of the virus.

It is remarkable that Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans and then spreads through people to people contact. It is associated with fatal encephalitis and respiratory illness. In initial stages, it causes fever, headache, muscle pain, dizziness and nausea. There is no known vaccine against the virus.

 

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