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Amid Nipah Scare, Kolkata Zoo Urges Visitors Not to Pick or Eat Fruits Eaten by Birds, Bats

In 2001 and in 2007, there were reports of people affected with NiV in Siliguri in West Bengal.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:May 28, 2018, 7:43 PM IST
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Amid Nipah Scare, Kolkata Zoo Urges Visitors Not to Pick or Eat Fruits Eaten by Birds, Bats
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Kolkata: Acknowledging the presence of a large number of bats in the area, Alipore Zoological Gardens in Kolkata issued a precautionary notification on Monday alerting visitors not to pick or eat fruits eaten by bats. The announcement comes in the midst of Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kerala.

Ashish Kumar Samanta, director of Alipore Zoological Gardens issued the notification and asked all the staffs to keep an eye on visitors.

“There is nothing to panic. We have issued the notification as a precautionary measure. We have already started telling the visitors not to pick any fruits eaten by birds/bats. Also, action will be taken if we found anyone offering such fruits to animals," he said.

“Notices were put up in all the important points outside and inside the zoo. We are hopeful that people will co-operate with us. Bu i repeat, theer is no reason to panic.” he added.

Meanwhile, the state health department has taken all measures including setting up an isolated ward – loaded all medical facilities - for people reporting cases of mysterious fever at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Beliaghata.

So far, two patients identified as Sheikh Rafikul and Anik Mondal have been admitted at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Beliaghata with mysterious fever. Both are labourers who had gone to Bengaluru and Kerala for work. Hospital authorities didn’t find any NiV symptoms. However, all possible precautionary measures are being taken.

Officials at Integrated Disease Surveillance Progamme (IDSP) of the state health department were asked to be alert. All hospitals across the state have been asked to report any case of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) on a daily basis.

There is no Nipah virus scare in Bengal. However, the state government is fully prepared to deal with any such eventualities.

NiV can be transmitted by infected pigs/fruit bats, through their saliva secretions, urine or faeces. It causes respiratory infection leading to fever, body ache, stiff neck, nausea, breathlessness and severe cough.

In 2001 and in 2007, there were reports of people affected with NiV in Siliguri in West Bengal.

The virus has claimed at least 12 lives in Kerala so far.

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