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Norwegian fighter jet helps save dying patient

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OSLO — A Norwegian F-16 fighter jet has saved a patient’s life by transporting life- life-saving medical equipment from one hospital to another, media reports said Friday.

The patient was battling for his life, and without a special lung and heart procedure called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation he would die.

The equipment was not available at the hospital in the town of Bodo in central Norway, where he was being treated.

But, a hospital in Trondheim, about 450 kilometres to the south, did have the machine and staff there contacted the air force on April 4 for help in transporting it.

The request came in just as two F-16 fighter jets were getting ready to take off from an airbase near Trondheim, reports said.

“They didn’t ask any questions, except for what size the machine was,” said Anders Wetting Carlsen, chief doctor at Trondheim’s Saint Olaf hospital.

In a stroke of good luck one of the fighter jets was equipped with an external hold that allowed it to transport equipment. The machine was loaded onto the aircraft, which made for Bodo at top speed.

“Usually we cover that distance in 35 minutes,” air squadron head Borge Kleppe told Norwegian daily Verdens Gang.

“But given the special nature of the cargo, the pilot stepped on it and arrived at the destination less than 25 minutes later.”

AFP

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Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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