INDIA : Nipah virus, transmitted by bats, has already killed 17 people since mid-May
Nipah virus is creating havoc in South India. In Kerala, the deadly virus has already claimed the lives of 3 new victims in recent days. This epidemic is worrying the authorities of the state that thought to have curbed the outbreak of the virus. The latter, transmitted by frugivorous bats, has already killed 17 people in Kerala since mid-May.
Six new patients were admitted this week in a hospital in Kozhikode, a city in northern Kerala marked as the epicenter of this epidemic. The Kerala government is again on high alert after three more deaths since Thursday among people infected with the Nipah virus. Authorities are now fearing a second wave of infections, though the spread of the virus seemed to be under control early this week.
The government of Kerala has announced several measures: all official meetings have been postponed until further notice. The civil service entrance exams have also been postponed to June 16 and Kozhikode schools will remain closed until next Tuesday. The nursing staff at a hospital where four of the deceased were being treated, were also ordered to take leave as a precautionary measure. Nearly 1,300 people, who have been in contact with people contaminated with the virus, have been put under observation.
The Nipah virus, for which there is yet no vaccine, has already appeared in India in 2001 and 2007 on the Bangladeshi border, killing dozens of people. The Indian Ministry of Health has issued a public health advisory, stating that the virus has been localized and people should not panic.