Chennai: Allaying fears over outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus in Tamil Nadu,which has claimed 13 lives so far in Kerala, state health minister C Vijaya Baskar said the government had taken all precautionary steps to prevent it.
"I categorically say there are no cases of Nipah virus in Tamil Nadu. In the two suspected cases reported in Kerala, I think they are still carrying out tests to ascertain if it is of the virus,", he told reporters.
On reports of two persons being admitted to the government hospital in Tiruchirapalli due to a 'mystery fever', he said diagnosis had confirmed it was just fever and nothing else.
To create awareness among the public on the possible spread of the virus in border districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Director of the Public Health department recently conducted a meeting in Coimbatore, he said.
"Through the Public Health department I sincerely appeal to the public to wash their hands before having food and never consume fruits which are bitten by birds".
The virus was suspected to have originated from Malaysia through fruit bats and passed on to humans when they consume fruits bitten by the mammal, he said.