Nipah virus killed at least ten, including a nurse, in the Indian state of Kerala

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The mortality rate is ranging from 40 to 70 percent and there is no vaccine for the disease, which was first seen in Southeast Asia in 1998, when it was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia. Officials say around 94 people have been quarantined inside their homes and some nine people are under surveillance in hospitals. The virus is hard to diagnose. After exposure and an incubation period of 5 to 14 days, illness presents with 3-14 days of fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion.

emergency-measures-in-India
Emergency medical measures in India

Infection with Nipah virus is also associated with encephalitis. The patients may be in coma within 24 – 48 hours. Consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats can lead to the disease. Human-to-human transmission has also been documented, including in a hospital. Lini Puthussery, a 28-year-old nurse, has died in India’s southern state of Keral on Monday. She died trying to save patients infected. Lini’s body was not handed over to the family to prevent the infection from spreading further. She was cremated under official supervision. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan  tweeted condolences, adding that her “selfless service will be remembered”. Nipah is top of the list of 10 priority diseases that the World Health Organization has identified as a potential next major outbreak.

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