Nipah virus outbreak: 47 year old dead health officials spotted bats

The 47 year old man died on August 30. He is supposed to be the index case in the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerela. The victim owned a farm near his home in Maruthonkara panchayat. The farm is full of areca nut trees and banana plants where many bats live. This is a clue to this Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode district. However, the central team will confirm the exact reason, for how the index case got the virus, after the investigation.

Nipah virus outbreak

Nipah virus outbreak: Fruit bats are known to carry Nipah virus which spreads by coming in contact with the fluids of the infected animals.

Fruit bats are the natural carriers of this Nipah virus. This spreads by coming in contact with the fluids of the infected animals. In addition, health officials said that this Bangladeshi strain of the Nipah virus can enable human-human and animal-human transmission.

A team of health officials collected samples like bat urine, animal droppings and half-eaten fruit from the farmland, owned by the deceased 47 year old man and nearby areas. The victim’s residence is not very far from the eco- tourist centre, Jankikadu, a 300 acre forest. This forest houses many different species of bats.

The local ward member said,“The 47-year-old who died due to Nipah virus used to run a shop in a Gulf country and returned to Kerala around one-and-a-half years ago after his father fell ill. Since then, he was engaged in farming and had family-owned plantations which had areca nut, banana and other fruit trees. The farm land is about 100 metres from his home and bats are always seen hanging from trees there,”

Nipah virus outbreak

Victim touched the fallen fruit on the ground which had bat’s secretion, health officials suspect.

The victim could have touched a fruit on the ground which had bat’s secretions, some health officials suspect. They further added that the exact reason can only be known after the sample results come.

The locals in the area said that they also have seen half-eaten fruits on the ground in their garden which they now fear to touch. But in the past they have enjoyed eating fruits of the same trees.

Fruit farmers living in that area are miserable now as the Nipah virus outbreak has caused fear amongst people to buy fruits.

Meanwhile, the health department has published the ‘route maps’ of the victims listing places. This map shows where they went before they started experiencing symptoms. When the 47 year old died many of his neighbours and family went to his funeral thinking that he died a natural death at such a young age. Later, they found out about the suspicion of Nipah virus outbreak. All those people are now listed in the first contact list, but most do not have symptoms.

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