Saudi Arabia bans fruit and vegetables from Kerala fearing Nipah

Desiree Burns
June 9, 2018

Health officials in Kozhikode and Malappuram, the districts most affected by the infection in Kerala, seem certain that the outbreak was controlled, exactly one month after the first suspected victim was notified, The Indian Express reported.

Most of the fatalities occurred in the districts of Kozhikode and Mallapuram.

And two survivors - including a 19-year-old who caught the virus from a patient while workin at the Goverment Medical College of Kozhikode - have now tested negative after receiving treatment.

Kozhikode: Going beyond the call of duty, a doctor here performed the role of a pall bearer to conduct the last rites of some of those who lost their lives to the deadly Nipah virus.

According to the latest data by the ministry, 11 patients are now being kept under observation at the medical college and are being routinely checked for any signs of the virus, which is commonly carried by fruit bats.

But Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said on Thursday new samples of 55 fruit bats were collected two days ago and sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. So even if a bat has been infected by virus earlier, their samples may test negative later.

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However, the official indicated the surveillance will continue until June 30 and only after that date the disease can be said to be under control. Gopakumar performed the last rites on a 17-year old boy who died of Nipah.

As locals have been confining themselves to their homes, shopkeepers have suffered from a drop in trading. Yesterday, the state government had updated the toll to 17 after including the death of Mohammed Sabith, the first victim, whose samples had not been tested for Nipah.

"This is the first time in Kerala that NiV has been detected". From Wednesday late night, a fake news started to spread on social media that a man from Adoor had been taken to Alappuzha Medical College Hospital with the symptoms of Nipah.

The Nipah virus infection is an emerging zoonosis, which causes diseases in both animals and humans.

In New Delhi, India's health ministry said that bats can not be ruled out as the primary source of Nipah outbreak, almost two weeks after a medical team sent by it had said that samples collected from bats in Kerala tested negative.

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