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Nipah virus dents Kerala tourism, industry working to bring back confidence

28 May 2018, 06:38 | Franklin Nunez

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In Bangladesh, in 2004, humans became infected by consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats.

Health Minister Shailaja told the media in Thiruvananthapuram that though the virus had been contained, there was a need to be alert.

Eating fruits that have been partially eaten by infected bats or the cooked meat of infected animals can also lead to people developing the virus.

The Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala has kicked panic among citizens after it has taken 10 lives. Two brothers from the family died on May 5 and their father is also infected and being treated in hospital.

Although the Nipah virus outbreak has not taken place in Karnataka, yet, there were apprehensions, compelling the medical department to scrutinize and double check the symptoms.

The central team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team has already visited the house in Kerala's Perambra from where the first death was reported, and found many bats in a well from where the family took water.

Moosa's sons Muhammed Sabith, 24 and Muhammed Salih, 26 had died earlier. To prevent further spread of the infection, her body was cremated in an electric crematorium immediately without handing it over to her family.

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"Since there are many foreigners who travel to Kerala, we are advising they can avoid these districts for abundant caution", he told Reuters.

She also noted that the government should consider the future of Lini's children.

"We have directed the general medicine departments regarding the Nipah virus".

The Kerala cabinet on Wednesday chose to give Rs 10 lakh each to the sons of Lini, the nurse who died due to Nipah virus. "Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe". The disease has been confined to Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

"The principal of the school and the students said that bats come here every year, and eventually perish, however, this year, their numbers are far greater than in previous years", Sharma said. "They have been asked not to consume fruits without washing them".

The outbreak of the virus infection, which is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well which was infested with bats.

Human-to-human transmission of the virus has been recorded in previous outbreaks in India that killed as many as 50 people.



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