Nipah virus claims one more life, Death toll rises to 11


It is reported that the suspected case has been reported from Karnataka's Mangalore too.

Ajit Kumar, retired professor of social work from Matru Sewa Sangh, who is now on a visit to Kerala, says that it is the northern part of the state which has been affected.

A bat-infested well in a house in India's southern state of Kerala's Kozhikode district has been identified as the likely epicenter of the third outbreak of Nipah virus in this country since 2001, health officials said Wednesday.

Ten people have lost their lives to Nipah in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts so far and 19 are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, including one in Waynad. "All cases are linked to the one family in Kozhikode - those who came in contact with them", Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department in Kerala, told CBS News.

In Kozhikode, from where seven deaths have been reported, District Collector U V Jose has ordered temporary stoppage of all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth, Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna. "Health officials in every district are prepared to face any emergency situation", she added. Sooppikkada Valachuketti Moosa, who was battling the disease for the past many days, breathed his last at the Baby Memorial Hospital in Kozhikode.

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Experts believe both Nipah and Hendra are spread by flying foxes - bats of the genus Pteropus - with humans becoming infected by exposure to bat urine and saliva on fruit, or from infected pigs and horses.

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. "In fact, byelections are going on in my district and this virus fear has not had any impact on poll-related activities", he says. Nipah is a emerging zoonotic diseases that affects humans and animals. The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), Nipah virus causes severe nerve damage in humans and animals and its symptoms include fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion.

There is now no vaccine or drug available for humans or animals and the main treatment is intensive support care for those who are suffering from respiratory and neurologic problems.