Nahan (Himachal Pradesh): Amidst the news of the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, more than 18 dead bats were discovered on Wednesday in the premises of a government school in Himachal Pradesh's Nahan, triggering a panic among locals.
Following a directive from the Deputy Commissioner, officers of the health department, animal husbandry department and forest department arrived at the Burma Papadi School, and took samples from the dead bats for further investigation.
However, the officials denied rumours of fears of the virus as of now.
The district's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sanjay Sharma, said although the bats are present in the area every year, this year their numbers are significantly higher.
"The principal of the school and the students said that bats come here every year, and eventually perish, however, this year, their numbers are far greater than in previous years," Sharma said.
"We have informed the teachers and students of the school about the virus, its symptoms as well as preventive measures. We told them to avoid physical contact in case of an outbreak, as this is a communicative disease," he added.
Suparna Bharadwaj, the principal of the school, said, "In this situation, there is a panic in the people after this episode, as the way the bats are dying, Nipaha virus' fears cannot be sidelined. The students were informed of the disease and its preventive measures, so we will exercise all precautions in case of an outbreak and inform as many people as possible."
The death toll in the deadly Nipah virus outbreak has so far, risen up to 10, Kerala health minister K K Shailaja Teacher confirmed.
Earlier, Kerala Governor P Sathasivam appealed to the people of the state not to panic over the rumours being circulated about the spread of the virus and requested everyone to follow the advisories issued by the State Health Department.
Also, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is closely monitoring the outbreak and taking steps to prevent its further spread.
Taking cognizance of the issue, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda also directed to constitute a team of six doctors to probe the outbreak of the virus....