Another Indian state reports Nipah virus death, fanning fears of spread

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Two new cases of the deadly brain-damaging Nipah virus have been confirmed in the southern Indian state of Kerala, where another two people were killed by the virus, a health official said on Thursday.

Initially, both showed some symptoms of recovery, but later their condition deteriorated, the official said, adding that both might have contracted the infection from the hospital.

While P Madhusoodan, 55, a senior clerk at the district court died at a private hospital, Akhil, 28, who was admitted on Tuesday, succumbed to the virus at the medical college hospital. He was admitted to the Command Hospital on 20 May and passed away on 25 May, the spokesman said. Saritha said the contact list of those under observation has now been widened to 1,353 people, The Hindu reported.

A soldier died on Monday in the eastern metropolis of Kolkata of suspected Nipah virus. Meanwhile, his samples were sent to National Institute of Virology in Pune to see if it was a case of Nipah virus.

Seenu Prasad, posted at Fort William here, had gone to his hometown in Kerala on a month's leave. Following the rising cases of the virus, Kerala health department issued an advisory for people travelling to the state and urged travellers to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) on May 29 banned import of fresh fruits and vegetables from Kerala in the wake of outbreak of Nipah virus (NiV) in the state.

Nipah virus can be transmitted by infected pigs, or by fruit bats, through their secretions of saliva, urine or faeces.

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