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Nipah virus kills Kerala nurse, toll rises to 10, nearly 100 quarantined

With death of a nurse in Kozhikode hospital, the Nipah virus toll has gone up to 10. Lina, 31, was treating Nipah-infected patients in the Kerala town.
Over 90 people are in quarantine, a top health official told news agency AFP. The Nipah virus, which is carried by fruit bats, has a mortality rate of 70 per cent.
Considering the seriousness of the situation, the Centre rushed a high-level team from the National Centre for Disease-Control (NCDC), including its director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh and Head of Epidemiology, Dr S K Jain, which arrived today.
The team visited Changarothu amd Perambra from where the virus was first reported and took stock of the situation.
The team members said there was no need for people to panic.
Dr Singh told reporters that the state health department has taken all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government was handling the issue with ‘utmost seriousness.’ “Three persons are confirmed to have died of Nipah virus. The samples of others suspected to have been infected have been sent for testing and the results are awaited,” he said in a statement.
He said the health department was taking all steps to ensure that the virus does not spread.
“All efforts are also being made to ensure that more lives are not lost,” Vijayan said.
Instructions have been issued to private hospitals not to deny treatment to those reaching hospitals with fever, he said. The state has been put on high alert and two control rooms have also been opened. According to the WHO website, NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998, when pigs were the intermediate hosts.
However, in subsequent NiV outbreaks, there were no intermediate hosts.
In Bangladesh in 2004, humans became infected with NiV as a result of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats.
Human-to-human transmission has also been documented, including in a hospital setting in India.

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