UAE, Bahrain caution citizens after Nipah virus outbreak

Kerala, where the virus has been detected, is a popular destination for travellers from the Gulf
A deadly virus carried mainly by fruit bats has killed at least ten people in southern Indian state of Kerala.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Thu 24 May 2018 09:08 AM

The UAE and Bahraini governments are urging their citizens in Kerala and elsewhere in south India to exercise caution following a deadly Nipah virus outbreak that has killed at least 10 people.

On Twitter, the Bahraini consulate in Mumbai urged citizens “to be cautious ‘til the situation is under control”, while the UAE consulate in Kerala advised Emirati nationals to take precautions and follow the instructions of Indian authorities.

It also gave contact numbers for UAE citizens to call in the event of emergencies.

Although state health officials in Kerala – a popular travel destination for Gulf tourists – have declared the state safe, they have cautioned travellers against visiting the districts of Kozhikode, Malappura, Waynad and Kannur.

“Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe,” health secretary Rajeev Sadanandan is quoted as saying in Indian media. “However, if travellers wish to be extra cautious, the may avoid the four districts.”

Investigators have traced the recent outbreak of Nipah to a bat-infested well in Kerala from where the first victims drew water.

Nipah, which the World Health Organisation describes as a “newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans” has killed over 260 people in India, Bangladesh and Malaysia since it was first detected in 1998.

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Last Updated: Thu 24 May 2018 09:42 AM GST

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