Kerala's deadly Nipah virus may not be linked to bats: report

the asian age

India, All India

Officials on Friday ruled out the possibility of the virus spreading through fruit bats or pigs as lab reports turned out to be negative.

The samples were obtained from the well at a house in Kerala's Kozhikode where four members of the family succumbed to the virus. (Photo: File)

Kozhikode: The deadly Nipah virus that has claimed 12 lives so far may not be related to fruit bats at all, claim medical lab reports. 

Officials on Friday evening ruled out the possibility of the virus spreading through fruit bats or pigs as lab reports from Bhopal turned out to be negative.

The samples were obtained from the well at a house in Kerala's Kozhikode where four members of the family succumbed to the virus. Medical officials investigating the matter had found many dead bats in the well. 

The blood and serum samples of 21 bats were then sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, reported NDTV.

However, more tests are being conducted as officials say that these are just the initial findings. 

The family of four was treated by nurse Lini Puthussery who also came in contact with the deadly virus and died last week. 

The Kerala High Court on Thursday asked the state government to submit the measures it took to prevent rumours with regard to Nipah virus. 

Tourism in the state, too, has suffered a setback as many tourists cancelled their bookings last minute due to the outbreak of the virus.

Rajesh Pillai, a Kochi-based tour operator, said cancellations have been a daily affair since the rare virus claimed 12 lives in the two districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram.

Businesses worth Rs 30-40 lakh has been affected for the months of May and June, he said.

Kerala government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victims of Nipah virus.

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