Case of Nipah Virus suspected after sudden death of bats

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Meanwhile, there were reports of a Nipah virus scare in Himachal Pradesh with 18 bats found dead in the state.

With the death of one more patient on Thursday morning, the Nipah virus has claimed 12 lives in Kerala till now, while a fresh case of a nursing student in Kozhikode testing positive has surfaced, officials said. Apart from the 10 deaths, 94 people have been quarantined inside their homes while nine others are under surveillance in hospitals in the two districts.

The Nipah Virus began in the northern district of Kozhikode at the weekend that has now spread to the neighbouring Malappuram district in Kerala. Although "They are not confirmed Nipah Cases yet, so there is no need to panic", he added via telephone.

According to NDTV, there is a fear that two people in Karnataka may also be infected with the virus.

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"WHO has been informed about Nipah virus cases being reported in a family from a village in Kozhikode district of Kerala", he said.

Suparna Bharadwaj, the principal of the school, said, "In this situation, there is a panic in the people after this episode, as the way the bats are dying, Napa Virus's fears can not be sidelined". Facilities for ensuring individual safety would be made available in all hospitals. The teams will disseminate awareness material about the virus at primary health centres, community health centres, and taluks and district hospitals. "The situation is under control".

The virus that is usually carried by flying foxes - a kind of bat - or pigs and can be spread between humans through close contact with people's secretions and excretions. On this occasion, pigs were the intermediate hosts.

Although the number of patients coming for treatment with symptoms of Nipah virus infection has gone down, Kozhikode Collector U.V. Jose has banned till May 31 all public meetings and even training courses, including tuitions, to avoid assembly of people.

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There is no vaccine and thereby supportive care is the only way. According to World Health Organization, human infections range from asymptomatic infection, acute respiratory infection (mild, severe), and fatal encephalitis. The symptoms include fever and headaches, followed by drowsiness and confusion, leading to possible coma and death within a week. However, an incubation period as long as 45 days has been reported.

Human-to-human transmission has also been documented.

Health Minister KK Shailaja told a news briefing at least 17 patients were now confirmed as having Nipah - which was first discovered in 1998.

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