UAE bans fresh fruit imports from Indian state

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UAE bans fresh fruit imports from Indian state

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned imports of fresh fruit and vegetables from Kerala amid a deadly outbreak of the Nipah virus in the southern Indian state, Reuters reported.

The UAE Government has instructed local authorities to block the entry of any fresh produce from the region, suspecting fruit bats to be the source of the outbreak.

Mangos, dates and bananas - the preferred food of the fruit bats - have all been banned.

Indian health officials have so far not found the source of the outbreak but are testing on fruit bats from Perambra, the suspected epicenter of the infection. 15 people have been confirmed with the virus, of whom 13 have died. Kerala has sent 116 suspected cases for testing.

No confirmed cases of the virus have been found outside the state.

There is no vaccine for the virus, which is spread through body fluids and can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

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