Indian nurse who died battling Nipah virus hailed as hero


Authorities have issued a travel advisory for half a dozen districts in Kerala and alerts in neighbouring states to try to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Suparna Bharadwaj, the principal of the school, said, "In this situation, there is a panic in the people after this episode, as the way the bats are dying, Napa Virus's fears can not be sidelined".

A committee led by the chief secretary will monitor the situation continuously. "The online edition of The Time magazine has already carried an article on the death of Lini Puthusheri and later their staff reporter Alexandra Sifferlin followed it up with 'What you should know about the Nipah virus".

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Health minister Shylaja, Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan and Transport minister A K Saseendran, will attend the all-party meeting.

Taking cognizance of the issue, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda also directed to constitute a team of six doctors to probe the outbreak of the virus.

There is now no vaccine or drug available for humans or animals and the main treatment is intensive support care for those who are suffering from respiratory and neurologic problems.

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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.

The anganwadis in these regions too, have been asked to close down to avoid the spread of the virus among children.

However, the ministry said the spread of the infection had been contained. "As the window period is 4 to 14 days, even if one gets infected, it would take up to two weeks to show symptoms". Transmission of Nipah virus to humans may occur after direct contact with infected bats, infected pigs or from other people infected with the virus.

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State official Rajeev Sadanandan said the districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad should be avoided at all costs.

Blood and body fluid samples from suspected cases in Kerala have been send to the National Institute of Virology in the western city of Pune for study, officials said.

Symptoms of the infection, which was first identified in 1999, include headaches, fever, respiratory illness and drowsiness. Human to human contact as well as animal to human contacts have been documented.

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