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No sign of Nipah virus in Maldives: HPA

Fathmath Shaahunaz
23 May 2018, MVT 11:48
People wear surgical masks in the temporary flu clinic opened in IGMH amidst the swine flu outbreak in Male in March 2017.
Fathmath Shaahunaz
23 May 2018, MVT 11:48

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed that there has not been any reported cases of a Nipah virus outbreak in the Maldives.

HPA issued the statement amidst the Nipah virus flare-up in the southern Indian state of Kerala, a popular destination for Maldivians seeking medical attention overseas.

Indian media has so far reported 10 people dead and 40 quarantined in Kerala.

HPA's Director General of Public Health, Maimoona Abubakr, declared that the agency was looking into the possibility of the virus reaching the Maldives. She also revealed that no official steps have been taken as of yet.

Nipah virus was first identified in Malaysia in 1998. Spread by fruit bats, it can prove fatal to both humans and many mammal species, causing encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. Early symptoms of infection include fever, vomiting, severe headaches and breathing problems, which eventually pass into drowsiness, disorientation and confusion.

The virus can cause coma and death within just a day or two of infection. According to recent studies by World Health Organisation (WHO), the death rate is over 70 percent.

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