Bhubaneswar, May 24
The Odisha government has issued an alert to five medical colleges and 30 district headquarters hospitals in the wake of Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala.
The rare virus, mainly transmitted through fruit bats, reportedly claimed 11 lives in the southern state.
In a letter to the medical authorities, the director of Health Services), Braja Kishore Brahma, underscored the need to take preventive measures against the deadly virus as treatment options were limited.
Although no such case was reported from any part of the state so far, the health department has asked the hospitals to prepare themselves for contingencies.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar, has already set up an isolated ward to admit patients afflicted with the virus, its dean, Bikas Bhatia, said.
The health department also advised people to avoid consuming fruits that are half-eaten by bats or birds. It said that a detailed advisory, with preventive measures and common signs, would be issued soon.
Nipah Virus is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes a severe disease in both animals and humans. The symptoms that start appearing five to 14 days after infection include dizziness, headache, fever, nausea, drowsiness and confusion.
The World Health Organization has named Nipah as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside the likes of Ebola and Zika.