Death Toll From Nipah Rises to 16 in Kerala

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A 39-year-old woman, Roja, who had shown symptoms of nipah infection, died on Saturday morning, causing a scare about a second outbreak.

The symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion.

Besides, officials have asked those people who made contact with the two, who died due to Nipah, to get in touch with the cell.

The government is coordinating with all relevant sectors including zoonosis, wildlife, animal husbandry, human health, clinicians, pulmonologists, neurologists and private sector.

Dr Meena Mishra, associate professor of microbiology at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), said transmission of the virus may occur after direct contact with infected bats, or eating infected pigs or from infected patients.

Kozhikode District Collector U V Jose would file a report to the Kerala High Court on the situation in the district in the wake of Nipah virus, a source said.

Since 1998 to 2015, more than 600 cases of Nipah virus human infections have been reported.

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Shailaja said those that had come in contact with Nipah patients should be cautious till the end of the virus's incubation period and, hence, daily screening of these people has become essential to prevent the spread of the brain-damaging illness.

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.

The disease is now being diagnosed using PCR [polymerase chain reaction] and autopsy.

Avoiding raw palm sap contaminated by bat's excreta. since bats tend to urinate in the open containers which store toddy.

Being a viral infection there are no specific drugs available to treat this infection.

Kozhikode: Nipah virus has been a major concern for people across the globe. However, according to World Health Organization, the infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to sick pigs and bats in endemic areas and non-consumption of fruits partially eaten by infected bats or drinking raw date palm sap, toddy, juice. Treatment is limited to supportive care. Residents can be seen wearing masks while stepping out. The personal belongings of the patient should be cleaned separately and maintained hygienically.