Fruit bat samples test negative for Nipah virus

The latest 13 samples of fruit bats sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases have all tested negative. Samples of rabbits that were sent have also tested negative. This is the second set of samples that were sent for testing. The first set included samples of pigs, goats, cattle and insect bats, which were tested negative.

Nipah Virus has claimed 16 lives in Kerala since traces of the virus were first reported from Kozhikode towards the end of May. With a Nipah outbreak in Kerala since around two weeks, the carrier of the virus is yet to be identified.

Earlier, the Kerala state health department had issued an advisory for people travelling to the state, urging them to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur districts.

A similar note of caution was also issued by the Himachal Pradesh health ministry after more than 18 dead bats were discovered in the premises of a government school in Nahan.

The epicentre of Nipah, according to the state government, has been traced to a family in Kozhikode, where four people died and the initial cases were diagnosed. The state officials had claimed that source to be an infested bat belonging to the family.

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