State officials in Kerala have warned residents to take necessary precautions against Nipah virus during transmission season which runs from December through June. Kerala state’s Labour and Excise Minister urged residents to avoid eating fruits bitten by bats and to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming them. Health officials are concerned that another outbreak of the virus will occur in the state following a previous one in May 2018.
An outbreak of Nipah virus spread through Kerala state starting in May 2018, killing at least 17 people by the beginning of June. Nipah virus infection, first identified in 1998, is a disease carried by fruit bats that can induce fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation, and mental confusion. Individuals suffering such symptoms can fall into a coma within 24-48 hours. The viral infection has a reported mortality rate of 70 percent. There is no vaccine available.
Individuals in Kerala state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities, and avoid drinking raw date palm sap and to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. Anyone who is exhibiting the abovementioned symptoms is advised to seek immediate medical attention.
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