Indian health officials were checking on Wednesday if a rare, brain-damaging virus had spread to a second state after two suspected cases reported in southern Karnataka, as the death toll in adjacent Kerala, where the outbreak began, rose to 11.
Nipah virus is an emerging infectious disease that first broke out in a Malaysian village in 1999 and was also named after the same village.
"They are not confirmed Nipah cases yet, so there is no need to panic", he said by telephone.
The Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala has kicked panic among citizens after it has taken 10 lives. "I have shared the information with physicians from Baby Memorial Hospital and Government Hospitals, which they may use at their discretion", said Khader when contacted.
One more death was reported in Kerala's Calicut due to Nipah Virus on Sunday. Officers of the health, animal husbandry and forest departments have taken samples of the dead bats for further investigation.
Nipah can be spread by fruit bats, pigs and through human-to-human contact.More news: U.S. Naval Academy graduation; Trump delivers remarks
A nurse died earlier this week after taking care of sick patients and then becoming ill herself with the Nipah virus, which has killed at least 10 people in India this month. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.
Outbreaks of Nipah occur annually in Bangladesh and 105 people died from the virus in Malaysia 1999, when more than a million pigs were slaughtered to stem its spread. The symptoms that start appearing five to 14 days after infection include dizziness, headache, fever, nausea, drowsiness and confusion. The disease has been confined to Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
As of now, there is no vaccine for the treatment of Nipah Virus.
"It has been made a decision to postpone the reopening of the educational institutions in the districts to June 5 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Nipah virus", Shylaja told reporters.
State government is in touch with World Health Organization (WHO) and some of the leading researchers in the world to see if drug repurposing is possible. The main treatment for those infected is "intensive supportive care", according to the United Nations health body.