new delhi - South India is struggling with an outbreak of a deadly virus that is spread by certain bats. In a few days time, at least ten people died, the authorities in Kerala state say. People get the Nipah virus by consuming fruits and juice that have been infected by the bats. The virus causes, among other things, flu and brain damage.
Authorities suspect that the virus was first transferred to three members of the same family, who live next to a well where the bats had a nest. Residents have been evacuated. There is no vaccine for the Nipah virus yet, so hospitals can only offer supportive care.
The virus, which killed fifty people during previous outbreaks, causes a lot of panic in the area. People with flu report en masse to hospitals. They fear that they have contracted the deadly virus. 'We are looking for the help of private hospitals to endure this crisis,' says a local government official.
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