The death toll from the deadly Nipah virus rose to 12 on Thursday as one more person undergoing treatment died this morning.
On Sunday, State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to stay vigilant and follow instructions from the health department. Before you hit the panic button, we roped in Dr Tripti Gilada, consulting physician at Unison Medicare & Research Centre in Mumbai, which specialises in infectious diseases. As a result of this, the patients with cold and fever are being treated with precaution.
Specifically, it is the Greater Indian Fruit Bat, found abundantly across South Asia, which carries the Nipah virus.
Blood and body fluid samples from suspected cases in Kerala have been send to the National Institute of Virology in the western city of Pune for study, officials said.
Kozhikode district collector U.V. Jose has ordered temporary stoppage of all training programmes and summer camps in affected areas such as Changaroth, Koorachund, Kottur, Cheruvannur, Chekyad, Chakkittapara and Olavanna. He has reviewed it with Secretary (HFW) Preeti Sudan and DG (ICMR) Dr. Balram Bhargava and has directed for all support to be extended to Kerala in its prevention and management. The virus is spread by infected bats, pigs or humans.
Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since 1998 and has a mortality rate of almost 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization. "The situation remains under control", said the department in the advisory as ANI reported.
Officials set a net over a well to catch bats in Kozhhikode district of Kerala which is the epicentre of the outbreak
There is no clear preventive or curative treatment for Nipah, a newly emerging disease spread by bats, pigs and people who have become infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
It was the slow response to West Africa's 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 11,300 people before an effective vaccine was developed, that prompted the launch of the CEPI coalition in January 2017.
In neighbouring Malappuram, where three persons have died due to the virus, orders have been issued in four panchayats to stop anganwadi classes for the time being.
The virus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, is hard to diagnose and the symptoms include fever, vomiting and headaches.
The major treatment for infected is "Intensive Supportive Care", according to United Nations health body.