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Prachand casts vote from Bharatpur-14

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CHITWAN — CPN Maoist Centre Chairman and Former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachand has cast his vote from his own constituency, Bharatpur-14 in Chitwan district, in the second phase of provincial and parliamentary elections for the first time after the peace accord signed between the government and CPN Maoist Centre in 2006.

Dahal inaugurated the casting of ballot at 7:13 am from Rastriya Adharbhut School at Shantipur in Bharatpur-14.

Similarly, his wife Sita and younger daughter Ganga have also cast their votes from the same polling station while his another daughter Renu Dahal, who is also a mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City, voted from Sundarbasti Lower Secondary School-based polling station in the metropolis.

Talking briefly to mediapersons after casting his ballot, Dahal said that the three-tier elections were the backbone for political stability in the country and left-alliance was made for the same.

“No government has been able to sustain for five years till date for the past few years. The alliance will garner majority in phase II polls and lead the country towards development and prosperity.”

Earlier in the local level elections on May 14, the former Prime Minister had cast his ballot from Lanku, Bharatpur Metropolitan City-4 of Chitwan district.

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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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