NEW DELHI, May 24 (Xinhua) -- India said it has contained the highly contagious Nipah virus that has killed some 10 people in its southern state of Kerala.
"It was a highly localized infection and we have been able to contain it well," Indian Health Secretary Preeti Sudan told the media late Wednesday evening.
Apart from the 10 deaths in Kerala's Kozhikode and Mallapuram districts, some 94 people have been quarantined inside their homes while nine others are under surveillance in hospitals.
Health officials have identified a bat-infested well in a house in Kozhikode district as the likely epicenter of the outbreak of Nipah virus in the state.
"Some bats were caught under proper supervision and sent for laboratory examination. The well has been sealed. We suspect these bats to be the cause of the outbreak," an official said.
"Three members of a family were likely to get infected with the virus after drinking water from the well in their house," he added.
This is the third outbreak of Nipah virus in India.
Two other outbreaks of the virus were reported in 2001 and 2007 respectively, in eastern state of West Bengal that shares its border with Bangladesh, claiming 50 lives.
Nipah virus is an emerging infectious disease that first broke out in a Malaysian village in 1999 and was also named after the same village. It affected domestic animals before humans.
Health experts say there is no vaccine yet for the virus, which causes fever and breathlessness in affected patients as initial symptoms, and only intensive care can help. Enditem