Samples of Fruit-Eating Bats to Be Tested for Nipah Virus

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In India the disease was first reported in eastern West Bengal state in 2001.

The Bihar advisory said that the disease is spread by bats and pigs. Nine victims were from Kozhikode district and three from the neighbouring Malappuram district. Over the past few weeks, many in Kerala have been kept under observation as they are suspected to have contracted the virus.

Also, tests are under way on two suspected patients from neighboring Karnataka state, both of whom became ill after contact with sick people in Kerala state, according to an earlier report.

She said the ministry has mechanisms put in place for any sort of diseases that could emerge.

"Hospital-acquired infections are a major path of human to human transmission", added Kumar, who heads the Manipal Centre for Virus Research that is testing virus samples. "We hope the first case will also test negative".

Contracting Nipah causes an upper respiratory infection, leading to fever, body ache, breathlessness and cough. "We are specifically advising people not to go to the Kerala considering that the situation is bad there", Hyderabad district medical and health officer Dr Padmaja told Mirror. The most serious symptom is fatal encephalitis, a swelling of the brain.

"The progression is very severe".

Carried by fruit bats Nipah virus has killed several people in southern India
Carried by fruit bats Nipah virus has killed several people in southern India

Under the terms of the $25 million agreement, Profectus will receive support to advance its Nipah virus vaccine, and Emergent will receive funding to cover technical and manufacturing support. The virus kills up to 75 percent of those infected. The primary treatment for those contaminated is "escalated steady care", as indicated by the United Nations wellbeing body.

The Kerala government has now recommended using Ribavarin - an anti-viral - as a life-saving measure.

Sales of local varieties of mangoes have fallen at a time when it's the peak season of the popular fruit, though mangoes brought from other states appear to be selling well, vendors say.

Another team from the Union Health Ministry has also said that the efforts taken so far to contain the disease have been fruitful.

Meanwhile, residents belonging to Kerala but settled in Ludhiana said there is no need to panic as everything is under control.

Besides maintaining hygiene, the experts suggested to avoid eating fruits that has any paw marks on it or is contaminated.

Restricting mobility to and fro to the affected areas can curtail the virus up to some extent, Chatterjee suggested.

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