Death of Indian soldier renews fears over rare virus

May 30, 2018

A Indian soldier has died in West Bengal state of suspected infection by the Nipah virus, an official said Wednesday, heightening fears the rare disease may be spreading.

Nipah, which is mainly spread by bats, is confirmed to have killed 13 people in the latest outbreak which so far has been restricted to the southern state of Kerala.

The soldier was admitted to hospital in Kolkata on May 20, a week after returning from holiday in Kerala, according to defence ministry spokeswoman Dipannita Dhar.

"A soldier, Seenu Prasad, died of suspected Nipah virus in Command Hospital in Kolkata on Sunday," Dhar told AFP.

"He had shown symptoms similar to that of Nipah virus infection." Body fluid and were being examined, the spokeswoman added.

There is no vaccination for the virus, which induces flu-like symptoms that lead to brain damage and a coma and has a 70 percent mortality rate.

Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India since it first appeared in Malaysia in 1998.

The World Health Organisation has named the as one of the eight priority diseases that could cause a global epidemic, alongside the likes of Ebola and Zika.

Nipah is named after the Malaysian village where it first appeared.

In India the disease was first reported in 2001 and again six years later, with the two outbreaks claiming 50 lives.

Both times the disease was reported in West Bengal state which borders Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has borne the brunt of the disease in recent years, with more than 100 people dying of Nipah since a first outbreak was reported in 2001.

Four victims from the latest outbreak in Kerala hailed from one family. Dead bats were found in a well at their home.

However a recent report by Indian medical experts ruled out bats and pigs as the primary source of the .

Explore further: Nipah claims another victim in India, death toll now 13

Related Stories

Nipah claims another victim in India, death toll now 13

May 27, 2018
Another patient has died in India from the Nipah virus, taking the number of fatalities from an outbreak of the rare disease to 13, authorities said Sunday.

Rare Nipah virus claims fourth family member in India

May 24, 2018
A fourth member of the same Indian family has died from the rare Nipah virus, officials said Thursday, as authorities scramble to contain an outbreak that has claimed 11 lives.

Five dead, dozens quarantined as virus fears spread in India

May 22, 2018
A deadly virus carried by fruit bats has killed at least five people in southern India and more than 90 people are in quarantine, a top health official said Tuesday.

Nipah virus kills at least three in India, sparks alert

May 21, 2018
A deadly virus carried mainly by fruit bats has killed at least three people in southern India, sparking a statewide health alert Monday.

Nipah virus death toll in India jumps to 10

May 22, 2018
The death toll from an outbreak of the rare Nipah virus in southern India jumped to 10 Tuesday with more than 90 people quarantined to try to stem the spread of the disease, officials said.

Officials: Deadly Nipah virus has not spread in south India

May 25, 2018
An outbreak of a deadly virus has not spread beyond two areas in south India, officials said, but they have issued a series of warnings to people living in the stricken towns.

Recommended for you

Scientists in Sweden may have figured out one way acne bacteria defies treatment

October 22, 2018
Researchers in Sweden have discovered how acne-causing bacteria feed off their human hosts. The study, which was performed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, could make it possible to find effective ways to treat severe ...

A guide to Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), the rare, polio-like illness making young children sick

October 22, 2018
A fast-acting, polio-like illness has sickened 62 young children, with an average age of 4, in 22 U.S. states so far this fall.

Consuming caffeine from coffee reduces incident rosacea

October 22, 2018
(HealthDay)—Caffeine intake from coffee is inversely associated with the risk for incident rosacea, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in JAMA Dermatology.

Home-based biofeedback therapy is effective option for tough-to-treat constipation

October 22, 2018
Biofeedback therapy used at home is about 70 percent effective at helping patients learn how to coordinate and relax bowel muscles and relieve one of the most difficult-to-treat types of constipation, investigators report.

New hope for cystic fibrosis

October 19, 2018
A new triple-combination drug treatment being trialled at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane could increase the life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Bug guts shed light on Central America Chagas disease

October 18, 2018
In Central America, Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is spread by the "kissing bug" Triatoma dimidiata. By collecting DNA from the guts of these bugs, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.