Kerala: Death toll from Nipah virus rises to 14
The death toll from the deadly Nipah virus on Sunday rose to 14 in Kerala after one more person died in Kozhikode.
Most of the deaths reported are from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
The state government has also issued an advisory, asking travellers to avoid visiting the four districts of Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.
The Nipah virus, which is spread by fruit bats and pigs, can cause a communicable disease that can be fatal for both animals and humans.
The symptoms of the disease, which is so far limited to Kerala, include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation, and mental confusion.
These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
As per a government advisory, the spread of Nipah virus to humans may occur after close contact with other Nipah infected people, infected bats, or infected pigs. Bat secretions laden with virus can infect people during tree climbing, eating/handling contaminated fallen fruits or consuming raw date palm sap/juice or toddy.
Human to human infection can occur from close contact with persons affected with Nipah at home while providing care or close contact and in hospital setting if appropriate personal protective personal equipments are not used.
Those at higher risk for infection include people who are exposed to areas inhabited by fruit bats/articles contaminated by secretions such as unused wells, caves, fruit orchards; persons with direct contact with sick pigs or their contaminated tissues; persons in close contact with a Nipah virus affected deceased during burial or cremation rituals; and health care workers having direct contact with probable or confirmed cases without using standard precautionary measures.