The Kerala government has advised caution against the deadly Nipah virus, which left 18 dead in the northern parts of the state earlier this year.
Given that the virus spreads most between December and June, the state health department has put out an advisory warning people against eating fruits bitten by bats and asking them to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
Guidelines have also been given to the hospitals.
Patients suffering from cough have been advised to wear masks, available at the government hospitals, and cover their mouths when they interact with others, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Sadanandan has said in the government note.
"We have given an alert to DMOs (District Medical Officers) asking all government hospitals to observe infection- control practices strictly," Dr V Meenakshi, Additional Director (Public Health), told PTI.
Of the 18 who died earlier this year, 14 patients were from Kozhikode.
There were more deaths, claimed studies published in international medical journals, British Medical Journal and The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The state government has, however, denied reports of 21 deaths.