Soldier from Kerala dies of suspected Nipah virus infection

Soldier from Kerala dies of suspected Nipah virus infection in Kolkata

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A soldier died on Monday in Kolkata of suspected Nipah virus, which has caused 13 deaths in Kerala. The deceased, Seenu Prasad (27), was posted as a sepoy at the Fort William, the headquarters of the Eastern Command in the city.

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With samples of insectivores bats testing negative for the virus, samples of fruit-eating bats were earlier collected from nearby Perambra, the epicenter of the Nipah virus in Kerala.

An outbreak of a virus with deadly effects on the brain has killed 14 people in the southern Indian state of Kerala and set off worries about its potential spread.

Command Hospital doctors have sent his body fluid samples to the National Institute of Virology in Pune to check whether he had the Nipah virus.

And while it appears contained at the moment, the Times of India reports, "Panic about Nipah virus is knowing no bounds". Initially, his family took him to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital for treatment, but later he was referred to Beliaghata ID Hospital.

There is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, which the World Health Organization says is a highly infectious disease that can cause the inflammation of the brain.

Luby said hospital-based transmission poses a significant concern for Nipah and other infectious agents.

12 persons have died in the state due to infection. In Tamil Nadu, state Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar has said the government has taken precautionary steps to prevent the appearance of the virus in the state.

The state director of health service (DHS), Dr Ajoy Chakraborty, said: "We are not yet sure if the suspected patients are affected with NiV".

The first NiV outbreak in Kerala was in Changaroth panchayat in Kozhikode district of North Kerala. Symptoms caused by the virus include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion, and the patient could even slip into a coma.

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