Nipah virus: Oman embassy issues warning for citizens travelling to India

The deadly virus has killed at least three people in southern India officials said Monday with medical teams dispatched to the area amid reports that up to six other people could have died from the disease and others are ill. (AP

An Indian boys wears a mask as a precautionary measure against the Nipah virus in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Source Associated Press

"We are working on a strategy to release our data and findings at the earliest in the context of the public health emergency in Kerala", said Dr Shameer Khader, program director (healthcare data science and bioinformatics) at Northwell Health, New York.

"They are not confirmed Nipah cases yet, so there is no need to panic", he said by telephone.

"Situation in Gujarat is well under control". Samples were taken from the dead bats and sent for investigation.

"Infection with Nipah virus is associated with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)".

Nipa Virus aka NiV was first identified in Malaysia in 1988.

Two other outbreaks of the virus were reported in 2001 and 2007 respectively, in eastern state of West Bengal that shares its border with Bangladesh, claiming 50 lives. "The natural host of the virus is the fruit bat of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus". If not taken care of, these symptoms can even cause coma in a span of 24-48 hours.

"Usually the infection is caught through direct contact with pigs, for example by pig farmers". The primary treatment is intensive supportive care.

The WHO has named Nipah as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside Ebola and Zika.

Infectious disease outbreaks can be a challenge in India, the world's second most populous country, where infection control and surveillance systems are weak, leading to hundreds of deaths annually from diseases such as mosquito-borne dengue.

Meanwhile, health minister KK Shylaja declared an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the people who died from the infection. "We have directed the CDHOs to remain observant regarding Nipah virus (outbreak) which is so far limited only to two districts of Kerala", Dahiya said.

Keep your surroundings and home clean and motivate other also.

A rare, brain-damaging virus has killed at least 10 people in southern India, where medical crews are scrambling to manage the spread of the deadly disease - and to minimize panic. In an advisory issued by Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan, it was stated that travelling to any part of Kerala was safe.

The death toll from the latest outbreak in Kerala rose to 12 on Thursday, following the death of a 61-year-old man who had already lost three members of his family, including his two sons, to the virus.

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