Two suspected cases of Nipah virus reported from a second Indian state

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They were the first cases of Nipah reported last week.

Ajit Kumar, retired professor of social work from Matru Sewa Sangh, who is now on a visit to Kerala, says that it is the northern part of the state which has been affected.

The UAE and Bahraini governments are urging their citizens in Kerala and elsewhere in south India to exercise caution following a deadly Nipah virus outbreak that has killed at least 10 people.

State National Health Mission Director Keshvendra Kumar, who reviewed the situation in the district, said "ribavirin" - a medicine that has shown to be effective against Nipah virus - has been procured by Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd.

However, they said that people should avoid travelling to the four northern districts of Kerala - Kozhikode, Malappuram, Waynad and Kannur - to be "extra cautious".

Eight of the dead are from Kerala's Kozhikode district, the hub of the outbreak, where multiple members of one family were the first to be infected. Around 15 bats were found dead in a government school in Nahan, reported ANI.

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Government authorities have put Kerala state on high alert.

Keeping in mind the sacrifice of 28-year-old Lini Puthussery, a nurse at Perambra Taluk hospital, who died after being infected by the virus while treating her patients, Government today chose to give a job to her husband and financial assistance of rs 10 lakh each for her two sons- aged five and two. The anganwadis in these regions too have been asked to close down to avoid spread of the virus among children. Two other outbreaks of the virus were reported in India in 2001 and 2007, respectively, in the eastern state of West Bengal that shares its border with Bangladesh, claiming the lives of over 50 people.

"All steps to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken", she added, urging people not to destroy colonies of fruit bats.

"At present, there is no reason to worry as there is not a single case of Nipah virus in Goa". The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats. Nipah is a emerging zoonotic diseases that affects humans and animals. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals, with primary treatment for human cases being intensive supportive care.

Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since 1998 and has a mortality rate of almost 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

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