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Fruit bats are considered the natural host of the Nipah virus and health workers said they found dead bats in at a well at the home of an affected family.

The UAE Consulate of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram has issued a warning on its official Twitter handle regarding the recent Nipah virus outbreak.

Officers of the Health Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Forest Department arrived at the Burma Papadi School, following a directive from the Deputy Commissioner, and took samples from the dead bats for further investigation. Biosecurity level 4 is the classification for Nipah Virus for laboratory personnel to adhere to.

The symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, drowsiness, respiratory illness, disorientation and mental confusion.

Extending a helping hand to the family of nurse Lini Puthussery, who died after contracting Nipah from her patients, the Kerala government on Wednesday chose to give a government job to her husband and Rs 10 lakh each to two of their children. "And it also showed that what's important is people and their lives, and not industry and trade", said Dominic. "The presence of Nipah virus was not confirmed at that time", said Saseendran, the health inspector at the hospital.

At least nine other people have died in the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode, formerly known as Calicut. A female relative who was with them in hospital also died later.

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The villagers also fear a repeat of the five dengue fever deaths that were reported in the area past year. "The family was likely to get infected with the virus after drinking water from the well", he added.

"We have opened a control room and we are always on the alert and we are doing everything possible to keep things under check".

A tourist who is traveling to popular tourist destination in Kerala are declared safe by Rajeev Sadanandan, a state health official, he stated that the outbreak "remains highly localized", with all cases linked to one family.

While 18 people with specific symptoms are admitted at hospitals in Kozhikode, 22 patients with suspected Nipah cases, all from Malappuram district, are admitted at Kozhikode Medical College for observation.

The mortality rate can reach as high as 70 per cent, and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no vaccine for either humans or animals. Some 50 people died in the first two outbreaks.


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