Nipah virus resurfaces in India’s Kerala after killing 17 last year

Doctors and relatives wearing protective gear carry the body of a victim, who lost his battle against the brain-damaging Nipah virus, during his funeral at a burial ground in Kozhikode, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, India, May 24, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 05 June 2019

Nipah virus resurfaces in India’s Kerala after killing 17 last year

  • More than 100 people died in that outbreak that year, and about a million pigs were killed to try to halt its spread

NEW DELHI: The deadly brain-damaging Nipah virus has resurfaced in the southern Indian state of Kerala a year after it killed 17 people, state officials said on Tuesday.
A 23-year-old student tested positive for the virus, which is transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected bats, pigs or other people.
Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja told reporters that four other people had Nipah-like symptoms. Another 80 people were being monitored, including some who were in close contact with the student.
Shailaja said isolation wards had been set up across the state, where 19 cases were reported last year.
India’s national health and wildlife ministries are working to test and identify bats with the virus, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in New Delhi.
“There is no need for panic,” he told reporters.
There is no vaccine for the virus which can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It recommends treatment through supportive care.
Nipah is on the WHO’s research and development “priority pathogen” list alongside Ebola, Zika, MERS, Lassa and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
The virus was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak of illness affecting pig farmers and others in close contact with pigs in Malaysia and Singapore.
More than 100 people died in that outbreak that year, and about a million pigs were killed to try to halt its spread.


Russia deploys S-400 missile defense systems in Arctic

Updated 21 min 23 sec ago

Russia deploys S-400 missile defense systems in Arctic

  • The S-400 is one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world and can hit enemy targets at up to 400 kilometers
  • Over the past few years Russia has significantly upgraded its military infrastructure in the Arctic

MOSCOW: Russia has placed S-400 missile defense systems at the Novaya Zemlya archipelago as Moscow seeks to increase its military presence in the Arctic, the defense ministry said on Monday.
The surface to air-missile regiment of the Northern Fleet’s air defense forces based on the archipelago’s southern Yuzhny Island has been fully equipped with new S-400 systems, the fleet said.
The regiment was earlier equipped with S-300 systems, a previous version of the missile.
The S-400 is one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world and can hit enemy targets at up to 400 kilometers.
Over the past few years Russia has significantly upgraded its military infrastructure in the Arctic.
In addition to the Novaya Zemlya forces, the country has stationed troops in the Franz Josef Land, the New Siberian Islands and several other places.
Russia has increasingly asserted itself as an Arctic nation, proclaiming the region as a top priority due to its mineral riches and strategic importance.