Patna, May 26: The Bihar government issued Nipah virus alert on Saturday, asking people to take precautions, an official said. “The government has issued an alert of Nipah virus (NiV) in view of its outbreak in Kerala that has claimed 10 lives and created panic,” said health department official R. D. Ranjan.

An advisory has also been issued to people with the dos and don’ts as preventive measures, said Ranjan.”People have been advised to keep distance from bats and pigs. They have been asked not to consume fruits without washing them.” According to health experts, Nipah symptoms are not specific and include flu-like illness and hence can be confused with any respiratory illness.

The natural host of the virus is fruit bats. Human infections can result from contacts with infected pigs. Also, humans become infected with Nipah as a result of consuming food products contaminated by secretions of infected fruit bats. Human-to-human transmission has also been documented.

A total of 11 people have lost their lives so far in the Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala. The Kerala State Health Department confirmed the death of these 11 people and called for an emergency meeting in Kozhikode under Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda. The cause of the death was confirmed after blood samples from the deceased were tested at National Institute of Virology in Pune.