Death toll rises to 12 in Nipah virus outbreak

Doctors and relatives wear protective gear as they carry the body of a Nipah victim in Kozhikode Kerala on Thursday

Since fruit bats from the Henipavirus genus of Paramyxoviridae family are natural hosts of NiV, from whom the virus jumps to other animals and humans, fluid and blood samples from the bats were sent to India's apex animal testing laboratory in Bhopal for testing. Health officials had sealed an unused well, believed to be the epicentre of the virus, in the compound of Moosa's house after it was found to be infested with bats. The illness commonly presents as brain inflammation but in some patients, the early phase of the illness may also be marked by fever, persistent cough and difficulty in breathing.

The Sikkim health department has issued an advisory urging the people of the state to take precaution against Nipah virus.

One more death has been reported in India's Nipah virus outbreak, and today the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced a $25 million collaboration with two pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine against the disease, one of the group's priority diseases. "He would have also infected many people in the course of his journey", said a top officer with the Health Department.

"We sent 21 samples and all are negative".

There was suspicion that Mohammed Sabith, who first fell victim to the viral infection, had contracted it while cleaning the well.

Couple found guilty of murdering French nanny in trial 'stranger than fiction'
Ms Devallonne said her beloved daughter liked the "simple things in life" and enjoyed playing the guitar, reading and ice skating. She was accused of making up "dreadful stories about people, often of a sexual nature" and picking on those she saw as "weak".

Two persons, including one who visited Kerala recently, were admitted to hospitals here with suspected Nipah virus infection even as the Telangana health authorities have advised people to avoid visiting Kerala. The infection can start with fever, sore throat, throat irritation, throbbing headaches, abdominal pain, fainting, nausea, vomiting and pain in muscles (myalgia).

There is no vaccine for Nipah, and no treatment beyond supportive care to make patients comfortable. "Till today 12 persons (nine from Kozhikode and three from Malappuram) have died of NiV", said Sunil Gupta, additional director, microbiology, NCDC. The virus kills up to 75 percent of those infected.

The health ministry has issued prevention guidelines advising people to avoid contact with infected bats and pigs, avoid consuming raw foods, eat only well-cooked food, maintaining personal hygiene and hand washing practice, wearing N95 mask and reporting to the doctor in case of any symptoms.

The central government has dispatched teams from the National Centre for Disease Control to the area to monitor the outbreak.

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