At least 11 people have died in the southern Indian state of Kerala after they contracted a rare virus carried by bats, sparking concerns the deadly outbreak could spread.
Although state health officials in Kerala - a popular travel destination for Gulf tourists - have declared the state safe, they have cautioned travellers against visiting the districts of Kozhikode, Malappura, Waynad and Kannur.
The Ministry had yesterday asked people not to "panic" saying the outbreak was "unlikely" to spread further as early and efficient containment measures were being taken.
The Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala has kicked panic among citizens after it has taken 10 lives.
The outbreak of Nipah virus, which has resulted in the death of ten people in Kerala, is also likely to have an adverse impact on India's fruit exports.
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The useless bats had been found on the roof of a college and had triggered a brand new Nipah scare final week.
The villagers also fear a repeat of the five dengue fever deaths that were reported in the area past year. Currently, it is suspected to have been triggered by fruit bats in Kerala, and then transmitted to humans upon consumption of fruits that had been in contact with the infected mammals.
Research has shown that human infection is directly or indirectly related to fruit eating bats of the genus Pteropus.
Outbreaks of Nipah occur annually in Bangladesh and 105 people died from the virus in Malaysia 1999, when more than a million pigs were slaughtered to stem its spread.
Today the death toll of the virus - which has no vaccine - rose to 11, with nearly 100 people being treated as potential cases.
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Based on data so far, Christopher Broder, one of the main researchers behind the project, said the Nipah vaccine in development was also "highly likely" to work against the related Hendra virus.
NiV infection in humans has a range of effects, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory distress syndrome and fatal encephalitis.
Human-to-human transmission has also been documented.
Meanwhile, health minister KK Shylaja declared an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the people who died from the infection.
The central team will make a guideline on the kind of treatment to be given to the patients affected with the disease.
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He suggested that even if fuels are brought under new taxation system, the states can still impose taxes to compensate their loss. BJP president Amit Shah had last week said that a solution to rein in sharp rise in petrol and diesel prices would be found soon.
Treatment options are limited mostly to supportive care.