Bengaluru/Kochi — A rare virus spread by fruit bats that can cause flu-like symptoms and brain damage had killed 10 people in southern India, health officials said on Tuesday, with at least nine more being treated. Infectious disease outbreaks can be a challenge in India, the world’s second most populous country, where infection control and surveillance systems are weak, leading to hundreds of deaths annually from diseases such as mosquito-borne dengue fever. There is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, which is spread through body fluids and can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says. The usual treatment is to provide supportive care. The first death in the outbreak in Kerala took place on Friday, the state’s health minister, KK Shailaja, said. "This is a new situation for us. We have no experience in dealing with the Nipah virus," Shailaja said. "We are hopeful we can put a stop to the outbreak." Of 18 people screened for the virus, ...

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