Hyderabad patients test negative for Nipah virus

Hyderabad patients test negative for Nipah virus

The medical and health department in Hyderabad has launched a campaign to discourage people from going to Kerala for some time, till the dreaded Nipah virus comes under control. "But it has not been tested on humans", said ICMR Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava, while clarifying that it will not lead to creation of vaccine.

A couple of days later, and after confirmation by the National Institute of Virology, Pune, the Kerala government officially declared the cause of the deaths to be Nipah virus infection.

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The virus, the World Health Organization says, was first identified during a disease outbreak in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998.

"The district health societies have also been asked take contact details of all the relatives and acquaintances of the suspected patients so that investigations can be done thoroughly whether the virus has spread among them or not".

Earlier, cases of Nipah virus were reported from Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia in 2007 in West Bengal and around 47 deaths were reported.

Fruit sellers are severely affected by the outbreak of the virus.

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"Hospital-acquired infections are a major path of human to human transmission", added Kumar, who heads the Manipal Centre for Virus Research that is testing virus samples. With the results showing that this virus has not come from bats, the authorities have now chose to conduct more tests to locate its source.

Health Minister K K Shylaja told reporters that the authorities had collected details of people who had direct contact with the deceased persons and all of them are now under observation. Reports have claimed that those coming in contact with the victims such as medical professionals or crematorium workers have also been ostracised in Kozhikode and other neighbouring areas.

There was a report saying that several species of bat that are fly throughout entire Asia carry Nipah.

Its natural host are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, and it was first identified just 20 years ago in 1998 when an outbreak occurred in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia.

Mishra said people would be advised to avoid consuming toddy too. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care. "MOHAP alerts people travelling to Kerala to be aware of possibly of contracting the infection and advises them to postpone travel till situation is controlled".

The symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, vomiting and fainting.

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