Deadly Virus Carried by Bats Hits India, Raising Fears It Will Spread

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The 31-year-old was a nurse at the Perambra Taluk hospital in Kozhikode, Kerala.

As per reports, the transmission of NiV takes place through direct contact with fruit bats infected bats, pigs or other NiV-infected persons. Puthussery and the team reportedly attended to him without using protective equipment. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said, "The entire expenditure of these patients would be borne by the state and there need not be any panic over bats".

"They are all contacts of the confirmed cases and their lab results are awaited".

Nipah virus is an emerging infectious disease that first broke out in a Malaysian village in 1999 and was also named after the same village. In Karnataka, health officials have been put on alert.

Nipah encephalitis is a rare disease. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus. The symptoms are nearly identical to influenza, including fever and muscle ache and in some cases patients have brain inflammation as well. This quickly advances to encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, which can turn fatal. Nine of the victims were from Kozhikode and three from neighbouring Malappuram district.

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Kerala state health minister K.K. Shylaja told reporters Tuesday that there had been no new cases of Nipah, though it was not immediately clear when the last case was reported.

Dominic said, when a plague outbreak was reported in Surat in the '90s, there were cancellations in Kerala. Some patients will then progress to coma. In two of these facilities, 25 staff members and eight visitors got infected.

"The virus spreads through infected patients", she said.

What precautions can be taken to combat the Nipah virus?

"We are looking at the causes of the re-emergence of the virus". The best that can be done is to ensure that patients wear face masks and maintain proper hygiene measures. "People should not panic".

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Moideen had the same thing to say.

The PMC would be the referral centre for Nipah virus infection. "There is no scarcity of safety gear".

The meeting made a decision to conduct special awareness classes for staff in government and private hospitals.

Moosa (61), had been battling for his life for the past few days in a private hospital here and was on ventilator support, Kozhikode district medical officer Dr Jayasree E. told reporters.

But health experts are now baffled over the re-emergence of the virus in India.

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But he said fear did not prevent them from doing their job. "We are fighting a disease that is threatening society".