Mangaluru reported the first suspected case of Nipah even as to toll in Kerala due to the virus rose to 10.
Even as Kerala is in the grip of the Nipah virus that has claimed 10 lives in the northern districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram, a suspected case was reported from Mangaluru. Subsequent to this, high alert has been declared by Karnataka, especially along the southern coastal districts and Kodagu. However, Karnataka is yet to confirm if the suspected case is indeed that of Nipah.
Movement of people from Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod districts to Karnataka is quite frequent in connection with trade and commerce.
Not wanting to take any chance, Telangana too has declared an alert.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed deaths in Kerala due to Nipah virus rose to 10 with two more people succumbing to the rare and deadly infection on Tuesday. Of these, seven were from Kozhikode district and three from Malappuram.
Kerala’s Health minister K K Shailaja said that out of 18 samples sent for testing, Nipah virus was confirmed in 12. They include 10 persons who died. 17 people are currently admitted to Government Medical College, Kozhikode, with suspected symptoms of Nipah virus.
All unused wells in the two districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram are being closed in order to prevent bats from escaping. The bats reportedly use unused wells.
While officials say that the outbreak has been localised, what is worrisome is the spread of rumours through WhatsApp and other social media platforms. So strong are the rumours that people have started plucking all ripe and semi-ripe fruits in their compounds.
One official wryly said that it is easy to stop the spread of Nipah virus, not social media virus.