Health officials on Tuesday reported the outbreak of the rare Nepal virus spread by fruit bats, to have killed 10 people in southern India, with at least two more cases being monitored.
KK Shailaja, health minister of the state, who related the incidence said the first death happened on Friday in the district of Kozhikode.
“This is a new situation for us. We have no prior experience in dealing with the Nipah virus.
“We are hopeful we can put a stop to the outbreak,” said Shailaja.
She further reviewed that of the 18 people screened for the Nepal virus, 12 came back positive, 10 of them had died, with the other two being monitored closely.
Three of the victims, members of the same family, are suspected to have been infected by bats that crowded a well near their home, said a local government official, UV Jose.
“We have closed the well and evacuated the people living nearby,” said Jose, adding that federal health officials who visited the area were investigating.
“A large number of people affected by fever, and even minor ailments, are swarming to hospitals, fearing they have contracted the disease,” Jose said.
“We’ve sought the help of private hospitals to tide over the crisis.”
Rajeev Sadananda, the state’s health secretary, reviewed that health surveillance has been stepped up across Kerala.
However, the World Health Organization has advised that the usual supportive care treatment be adhered adding that there is no immediate vaccine for the viral disease that has broken out in Kerala state.
Nipah virus can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.