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Nipah claims another victim in India, the death toll is now 13



Another patient died of the Nipah virus in India, with the number of deaths from a rare disease outbreak falling to 13, authorities said Sunday.

Officials in southwestern Kerala state that in addition to recent deaths, two patients have been tested positive for the spread of the virus by fruit bats, causing flu-like symptoms that cause distressing encephalitis and coma.

Emergency measures were taken throughout Kerala to curb the spread of the virus, with dozens of patients quarantined since the outbreak was discovered this month.

Health experts were flown to Kerala to stem the virus with a mortality rate of 70 percent and no vaccine.

"One man died today from the Nipah virus and took the total death toll at 1

3," said Sarita RL, director of Kerala's health services to AFP.

"There are two other confirmed Nipah patients undergoing treatment."

Since 1998, Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India.

The World Health Organization has listed this as one of the eight priorities diseases that together with Ebola and Zika could trigger a global epidemic.

Nipah is named after the Malaysian village, where it first appeared in 1998. It spread to Singapore and more than 100 people were killed. On this occasion, pigs were the virus hosts, but it is believed that they were caught by bats.

In India, the disease was first reported in 2001 and six years later, with the two outbreaks claiming fatalities. Both times the disease was reported in West Bengal near Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has borne the brunt of the disease in recent years, with more than 100 people dying from Nipah since a first outbreak there was reported in 2001.

Four The victims of the recent outbreak in Kerala came from one family. Dead bats were found in a well in their home in the district of Kozhikode, the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

A nurse who treated one of the victims also succumbed to the disease.


Further information:
Rare Nipah virus claims fourth family member in India


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