Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Hyderabad to ensure hospitals well equipped to deal with Nipah virus

Hyderabad to ensure hospitals well equipped to deal with Nipah virus

The deaths in Kerala is the third instance in India's history of a Nipah virus outbreak, the first two times being in West Bengal's Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia in 2007. Officers of the health, animal husbandry and forest departments have taken samples of the dead bats for further investigation.

The virus spreads through close contact with people's secretions and excretions.

Specifically, it is the Greater Indian Fruit Bat, found abundantly across South Asia, which carries the Nipah virus. "Patients with fever and cold have been asked to be dealt with separately and N95 masks have been handed over to the staff to ensure that the disease is not spread", said the superintendent of Osmania Hospital as per a report by Deccan Chronicle. "General public should take standard precautions like washing hands with soap and water, keeping a distance of one metre from an infected person, not sleeping in the same bed as a person who is infected or suspected to have the infection", he said. "It is hard to know if the symptoms are of Nipah virus or ordinary influenza", says Kurup, adding that unless the situation clears, he will not visit the state.

"They are all contacts of the confirmed cases and their lab results are awaited". A female relative who was with them in hospital also died later.

The Kozhikode Medical College has 136 patients and nearby Malappuram district 24 patients under observation.

"He was on ventilator support for a week and died today morning", Kerala state health director Sarita R.L. told AFP of Moosa, 60.

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An emergency meeting of health officials was chaired by District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali to review preparedness of hospitals in case the infection is reported in the district.

The world's second most populous country suffers hundreds of deaths from infectious diseases every year because of weak disease surveillance and infection control systems, leading health experts to worry about the risks of such outbreaks.

Two "control rooms" in the worst-hit Kozhikode district have been set up to closely monitor the spread of the virus.

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.

No. Previous outbreaks have been reported in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos and Malaysia.

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