In Nipah Virus Fallout, Kerala Fruit Sellers Stare At Dwindling Sales

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Meanwhile, nine more persons, with suspected Nipah infection, have been admitted to Kozhikode Medical College.

Agents said citing panic messages doing rounds on the social media, they fear cancellations at the last moment that will ultimately affect their business. Both the patients have been isolated and their blood, swab samples sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV)-Pune.

The Nipah virus has claimed around a dozen lives in Kerala, but no case has been reported from Bihar.

Two other confirmed cases of Nipah virus have been detected and the patients are being treated in hospital, she said.

Authorities have issued a travel advisory for half a dozen districts in Kerala and alerts in neighbouring states to try to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Health officials had linked the origin of the virus to dead fruit bats found in a well at a house in Kerala's Kozhikode, where four members of the family died of the rare Nipah virus.

Various state governments have issued directives and advisories and have urged people to take immediate measures in case they experience symptoms of the virus, and refrain from travelling to Kerala.

"In the Bangladesh and India outbreaks, consumption of fruits or fruit products (e.g. raw date palm juice) contaminated with urine or saliva from infected fruit bats was the most likely source of infection", the World Health Organization explains. His eldest son had also died, but his samples were not tested.

"We have asked them to give their monoclonal antibody for conducting a test in India to find out if it can neutralise the Nipah virus in humans".

Officials on Friday evening ruled out the possibility of the virus spreading through fruit bats or pigs as lab reports from Bhopal turned out to be negative.

Dr Biju Mohan, consultant physician at Nirmala Hospital, Vellimadukunnu, said lack of an awareness session resulted in people worrying to step out of their homes.

There is no vaccine for the virus, carried by fruit bats, and the only treatment is supportive care.

The other mode of transmission is human to human, through body secretions and respiratory secretions.

A potentially deadly disease first identified in Malaysia in 1999 is experiencing an outbreak in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

"There is no need to panic, but if you have symptoms similar to this or if you have visited the state recently, visit a doctor at the earliest", Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant - Internal Medicine at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, told IANS.

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