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Nipah virus found in fruit bats in Kerala's Wayanad

Kerala health minister Veena George said that health workers were alerted to screen patients turning up with symptoms of Nipah.
Last Updated : 25 October 2023, 11:14 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: The presence of the Nipah virus has been found in fruit bats in the Wayanad district of Kerala.

The Indian Council of Medical Research found Nipah in samples collected from fruit bats in the Mananthavady and Sulthan Batherry regions of Wayanad.

Kerala health minister Veena George said that health workers were alerted to screen patients turning up with symptoms of Nipah. At present there was no need for panic, she added.

The samples were collected from various parts of the state as part of studies to find reasons for recurring Nipah infections in Kerala.

Last month Nipah infections were reported from the suburbs of Kozhikode, which is close to Wayanad. Two persons had died while four others who were infected had recovered. ICMR later found the presence of Nipah antibodies in samples collected from bats in the region.

The health minister said that Kozhikode would formally become Nipah infection-free by Thursday, on completion of 42 days incubation period of the virus. She said that while the death rate of Nipah was considered to be 70 to 90 per cent, in Kerala the death rate was only 33.33 per cent.

"The spread of the infection could also be contained. These were possible owing to early detection of the infection and timely interventions," she said.

A research center for Nipah would start functioning at Kozhikode Medical College from Thursday, said the minister.

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Published 25 October 2023, 11:14 IST

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