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North-east India: Fear of Nipah virus in mangoes

With mango varieties like the Banganapalli, Malgova, Totapuri and Sindhoora from Tamil Nadu and Kerala flooding the north-east Indian markets, the fear of Nipah virus is becoming more prevalent.

A 23-year-old youth in Ernakulam has been tested positive for the deadly Nipah virus, that killed 17 people last year. The National Institute of Virology has confirmed the presence of the virus.

While people in the northeast are ignorant about the epidemiology of the Nipah virus, the fear of fruit bats infecting the delicious mangoes from South India has started to grow.

Amidst the fear, the Nagaland government on May 27 issued an alert, and directed its Animal Disease Monitoring and Surveillance Cell to constantly update information on the Nipah virus.

The Nagaland Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services department has also been directed to maintain a tight vigil on the virus. The department has advised people not to panic, and to be aware and alert about Nipah virus.

Meanwhile, the Tripura Health Department has also issued a Nipah Virus alert after the death of five persons in a few villages of Bangladesh close to the international border. The state government issued a notice to all District Chief Medical Officers (CMO) to stay sensitized and alert on any impending Nipah virus outbreak in Tripura.


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