But this is not the first outbreak of Nipah virus in India.
Panaji: The Goa government has said that though there is no case of Nipah virus reported in the state so far, it would ask doctors to stay vigilant. Two other outbreaks of the virus were reported in India in 2001 and 2007, respectively, in the eastern state of West Bengal that shares its border with Bangladesh, claiming the lives of over 50 people. Around 15 bats were found dead in a government school in Nahan, reported ANI.
It is noted that Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda taking cognizance of the issue, and also directed to constitute a team of six doctors to investigate the outbreak of the rare and deadly virus. "Therefore, no one needs to fear, instead they should cooperate with us", said Sakina.
However, they said that people should avoid travelling to the four northern districts of Kerala - Kozhikode, Malappuram, Waynad and Kannur - to be "extra cautious". The virus, which is released through bats' saliva, urine and excreta, typically spreads due to bats consuming fruits on trees.
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".More news: FDA warns teething meds unsafe due to numbing drug
"Since there are many foreigners who travel to Kerala, we are advising they can avoid these districts for abundant caution", he told Reuters.
The outbreak of the virus infection, which is a zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well which was infested with bats and belonged to the Moosa family.
The Commerce Ministry has said it is monitoring the outbreak and will asses if the virus will bear implications for the country's fruit exports. The Nipaj virus infected 18 persons before it was localized and contained. The virus gets its name from the place where it was first identified. Infected people initially develop influenza-like symptoms of fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat. Treatment for the virus, which has a mortality rate of about 70 percent, is supportive care. The awareness is being done to prevent the disease from spreading further, especially to those at high risk.
The World Health Organization has named Nipah as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside the likes of Ebola and Zika.