September 22, 2019 | 4:18 AM IST
virus nipah

Two more Nipah positive while six others tested negative: Kerala Health minister

Two more people confirmed to be suffering from Nipah virus while six others were tested negative in Kerala. The two patients are undergoing treatment at Trivandrum Medical College.  A total of 311 persons are under close observation at different isolation wards of hospitals. All of these, including those who have tested negative continue to be in the isolation ward.
This information was given by Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Thursday. Shailja said, “All of these patients are under close observation in isolation wards. The youth who tested positive is also recovering well. Till now, the source of virus is yet to be confirmed.”

She added that the situation about the zoonotic virus is under control and the negative reports suggest that the virus has not spread. It is transmitted from its reservoir via fruit bats to animals and humans. It was on June 3 that the virus was detected in Kerala for the first time this year. Also, the state is under high alert for any incidents or cases of the virus.

The disease derives its name from a village in Malaysia, Sungai Nipah, where it was first identified in 1999.  More than 58 species of fruit bats (also known as flying foxes) are natural hosts of Nipah virus. The virus till now has struck Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and states of Kerala and West Bengal in India. In India it was witnessed in 2007 and 2018
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the habitat of these fruit bats extends from the east coast of Africa, across south and South-East Asia, east to the Philippines, Pacific Islands and Australia.

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