UAE issues Kerala travel warning in wake of Nipah virus outbreak

Samples of Fruit Eating Bats to Be Tested for Nipah Virus

11 people killed and 25 hospitalized due to deadly Nipah Virus in southern India, especially in Kerala.

Health authorities in Telangana have isolated two patients suspected to be affected by Nipah virus and sent their blood samples to the National Institute of Virology, Pune for testing.

He advised the people not to panic about the Nipah virus, and said all medical colleges in the state were prepared to deal with any eventuality.

The health department on Friday confirmed that the two patients who were admitted to Fever Hospital and Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) have tested negative for Nipah Virus (NiV) infection.

The virus is spread through bodily fluids that can be passed from one creature to another.

The virus has not spread beyond Kerala, the government said after investigation by health officials linked the initial deaths to a well colonised by bats whose water the victims had been using.

According to health experts, Nipah symptoms are not specific and include flu-like illness and hence can be confused with any respiratory illness.

"Hospital-acquired infections are a major path of human to human transmission", added Kumar, who heads the Manipal Centre for Virus Research that is testing virus samples.

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The examples sent to Bhopal lab incorporated those taken from bats found in the place of the Kerala family, which is accepted to be the epicenter of the sickness.

The Bihar government issued Nipah virus alert on Saturday, asking people to take precautions, an official said.

Nipah virus is a newly emerging disease that can cause serious harm to both humans and animals.

"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.

The natural host of the virus is believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

Currently, there is no vaccine or drug for the treatment of the NiV infection.

V. Moosa, who died Thursday in a hospital in the southwest state of Kerala, had two sons and a sister-in-law succumb to the same deadly infection spread by fruit bats last week. These bats had also transmitted Nipah virus to pigs, which then easily get transferred to humans. The treatment for human cases is supportive and management treatment along with intensive supportive care.

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