India Nipah virus outbreak death toll touches 17

India Nipah virus outbreak death toll touches 17

The advisory cautions all Bhutanese students studying in India on the outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala.

As part of "Nipah alert", those who visited Kozhikode Medical College casualty, CT scan room and waiting room on May 14 and the Balussery Taluk Hospital on May 18 have been asked to contact the Nipah cell immediately.

The two confirmed Nipah Virus cases, who have been under treatment, have also been responding well to the antiviral drug Ribavirin so far, said officials. The disease is thought to be transmitted by animals such as bats and pigs among others.

Ms. Shylaja said the department was in constant touch with the Centre and nations which had experienced Nipah outbreak earlier for their advice.

Talking to G Plus Ganesh Saikia, joint director of health services of Kamrup (Metro) district, said that they have appealed to the people not to panic and maintain calm.

- Even though there were no fresh cases have been reported, the death of a 39-year-old woman in Kerala today gave a scare to the people of the state.

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Sadanandan said the consignment of monoclonal antibodies sought from Australia as a candidate medicine for nipah had reached the state and was on its way to Kozhikode from Kochi. Long term sequale of Nipah virus include persistent convulsions and personality changes. The condition of the other two patients is stable. Date palm sap also contains it.

Avoid unnecessary travel to the affected districts of Kerala.

He went on to laud the local doctors for smartly stopping the virus in its feared tracks. "Maintain respiratory hygiene (avoid spiting) and coughing etiquettes (use clean handkerchief)".

Wash hands with soap properly after heaving meal or after buying fruits and vegetables.

"Healthcare workers are advised to use full barrier personal protective equipment before examination of patients", it said. This is most commonly reported in the family and care givers of Nipah virus infected patients. Eating food which may have the droplets of saliva and urine of infected bats can lead to the transmission of the virus.

World Health Organization is in contact with national authorities and is closely monitoring the virus.

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