After Kerala, Nipah virus suspected in Himachal Pradesh

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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.

The group comprises Additional Chief Secretaries of Health, Revenue, Labour, Home; Principal secretary Forest, Director Animal Husbandry and state Epidemiologists, among others. "Sorry. Please raise our children well", she wrote in a letter to her husband before she died on Monday, reported the BBC. "The natural host of the virus is the fruit bat of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus".

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.

Doctors N. Abhilash of the District Hospital (mobile number 9961730233) and Aneesh K.C. of the General Hospital, Thalassery, (9447804603) were appointed nodal officers to deal with Nipah virus infection treatment arrangements.

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

This is the fourth death in Moosa's family.

Symptoms can vary from acute respiratory infection to fatal encephalitis.

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MPs, MLAs, other representatives of people and leaders of various political parties would attend the meeting, Health minister K K Shylaja today said.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda is closely monitoring the situation arising out of reported cases and deaths due to Nipah virus in Kerala.

There has not yet been an official statement from Public Health England about travel to Kerala, but the risks to travellers are likely to be extremely low.

As Kerala takes steps to contain the spread of the virus, there is panic at the Government Taluk Hospital in Perambra in Kozhikode district. It said that a detailed advisory, with preventive measures and common signs, would be issued soon.

The mortality rate can reach as high as 70 per cent, and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no vaccine for either humans or animals.

The hotel staff has also been directed to inform the collector office if any guest comes from Kerala, especially from Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts check-in. Some 50 people died in the first two outbreaks.

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