Nipah Virus: Death toll touches 17

Nipah Virus: Death toll touches 17

In Kolkata, a 28-year-old soldier from Kerala, who was posted at Fort William, Kolkata, died of suspected Nipah virus last week.

The state government has asked the people who have been placed on house quarantine to watch out for symptoms of Nipah virus and keep nodal health officers informed.

Dr Milind Ganvir, assistant director of health services (malaria), pointed out that though there is no need to panic, a high index of suspicion is necessary by physicians.

Moreover, aforementioned institutions in Wayanad, Kannur, and Malappuram districts would remain closed till June 5, as opposed to the initial reopening on June 1.

This outbreak of Nipah virus is third in India.

However, soon other reports surfaced that she had died of other causes and did not carry the Nipah virus.

Meanwhile, the death of Thalasshery native Roja (39) at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital on Saturday was not due to the Nipah Virus infection.

Seenu Prasad's blood samples have now tested negative for Nipah infection.

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Another person admitted in the hospital was also tested positive, that is raising fresh concerns about the viral occurrence.

The virus has so far claimed 16 lives in Kerala's northern districts. Kozhikode District collector UV Jose has requested local courts to suspend their operations till the situation improves.

Roja had been to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, where a person was undergoing treatment for Nipah virus infection.

State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that Kerala was indeed a safe destination as around 300 doctors arrived in Kerala from various parts of India for the IMA conference to be held at Kovalam.

Further, there is no vaccination available at present for Nipah virus for humans as well as animals - which makes it a deadly disease.

The Health Ministry has also shared guidelines drafted by the National Centre for Disease Control with states and relevant stakeholders and also posted them on the Ministry's website.

"As a precautionary measure, it has been chose to further postpone the re-opening of schools and colleges and holding of examinations", Shailaja said.

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