Gujarat may start screening visitors from Kerala over Nipah virus scare

Gujarat may start screening visitors from Kerala over Nipah virus scare

Gujarat may start screening visitors from Kerala over Nipah virus scare

Two people suspected to be infected with the brain-damaging Nipah virus are under treatment in India's Karnataka state, a health official said on Wednesday (May 23), after an outbreak of the rare virus in neighbouring Kerala state killed 10.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government has asked travellers to avoid visiting four northern districts of the state - Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.

Nipah virus - a deadly condition spread by fruit bats - has killed more people in the southern Indian state of Kerala overnight.

Although the Nipah virus outbreak has not taken place in Karnataka, yet, there were apprehensions, compelling the medical department to scrutinize and double check the symptoms.

A ministry official said, "There is no need to press the panic button yet".

The UAE Consulate of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram has issued a warning on its official Twitter handle regarding the recent Nipah virus outbreak.

The outbreak of Nipah virus, which has resulted in the death of ten people in Kerala, is also likely to have an adverse impact on India's fruit exports.

Officials say around 94 people have been quarantined inside their homes [and] some nine people are under surveillance in hospitals, an NDTV report said.

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"Samples of dead bats have been sent for testing to NIV, Pune, to ascertain the reason behind their deaths".

The Nipah virus was first identified in 1999, after farmers and others who had come in contact with infected pigs in Malaysia and Singapore developed severe respiratory problems and inflammation in the brain in 1999.

Considering a high floating population between Kerala and Telangana, the state government of Telangana is taking special measures and setting up special wards in all major hospitals to deal with the deadly virus.

After reviewing the cases of all the patients who have lost their lives, the Central High-level Team is of the view that the Nipah virus disease is not a major outbreak and is only a local occurrence.

Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since 1998 and has a mortality rate of almost 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

As of now, there is no vaccine for the treatment of Nipah Virus. The symptoms that start appearing five to 14 days after infection include dizziness, headache, fever, nausea, drowsiness and confusion.

The major treatment for infected is "Intensive Supportive Care", according to United Nations health body. In the year 2004, the same virus arrived in Bangladesh through infected fruit bats.

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