Amid the outbreak of Nipah virus in the state, the Kerala government has asked travellers to avoid visiting four northern districts of the state — Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur. In an advisory issued on Wednesday, Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said travelling to any part of Kerala was safe, but tourists could avoid the four districts if they wished to be “extra cautious”.

“A few cases of infection by Nipah virus have been reported from Kozhikode district in Kerala. The infection remains highly localised, all cases being linked to one family,” the advisory said.

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It said the government was conducting surveillance in Kozhikode district, from where most of the cases were reported, besides the neighbouring districts of Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.

“The Health department is taking effective steps for management of reported cases and surveillance through tracing of the contact of these persons. The situation remains under control,” the advisory said.

Meanwhile, according to reports, Kozhikode has received 2,000 tablets of Ribavirin, an antiviral medicine, while another batch of 8,000 tablets are expected to be delivered.

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The Nipah virus has claimed 10 lives so far in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

Transmission of Nipah virus takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from other NiV-infected people. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

(With agencies)