Foreign Affairs
Spread of killer virus living in fruit bats

A killer virus for which there is no known vaccine is spreading in India, and has already killed three persons in the state of Kerala. Six other persons are also thought to have died from this virus, which is called Nipah. 25 other persons are recovering from an infection caused by the virus.

The Nipah virus lives mainly in fruit bats, and can be transmitted to humans.

When the infection first surfaced in 1999 in Malaysia and Singapore, it was thought to have been transmitted through pigs, and over one million pigs had been slaughtered to avoid the spread of the virus.

20 years ago this virus had accounted for over 100 deaths.

Symptoms of the infection include fever, headaches, lassitude, breathing problems, disorientation and confusion. The infected person can fall into a coma within a day or two.



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