As Nipah virus spread is suspected, government to compensate victims

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Outbreak of Nipah virus, claimed one more life taking the death toll to 11, as the state's health department on Thursday issued an advisory for people travelling to the state Kerala's Kozhikode.

Amid the outbreak of Nipah virus in the state, the Kerala government has asked travellers to avoid visiting four northern districts of the state - Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.

Nipah, which the World Health Organisation describes as a "newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans" has killed over 260 people in India, Bangladesh and Malaysia since it was first detected in 1998.

Nipah Virus infection ( NiV) has surfaced in the southern belt of India and is doing the talks deeply.

Shailaja had said earlier the outbreak had been "effectively" contained and that there was no need for the public to panic.

An outbreak of the rare Nipah virus in the south Indian state has also put scores more in hospital.

According to PTI, directions have been given to continue vigil and to strengthen the state's monitoring mechanism, besides increasing awareness about the virus and strengthening precautionary measures, a government press release said.

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The first death from the disease was reported on Friday, with health officials traced back to a well infested with diseased bats. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

According to experts, Nipah Virus is an airborne transmission infection and can spread quickly who come in direct contact with contaminated bodies.

When the virus infects human beings, it could range from merely being asymptomatic to also developing acute respiratory syndrome to fatal encephalitis. "And we want to make sure that it stays contained here", said R.L. Sarita, the director of health services in Kerala.

"But human-to-human spread can also occur if there is close contact with an infected person through hospital staff or family members".

Currently, there is no vaccine or drug for treatment of the NiV infection.

"It has been chose to postpone the reopening of the educational institutions in the districts to June 5 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Nipah virus", Shylaja told reporters. The main treatment for those infected is "intensive supportive care", according to the United Nations health body.

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