Nipah Virus: Toll in Kerala rises to 16, Health Ministry warns of new outbreak


Kozhikode (Kerala), June 1: With two more deaths in the past two days in this Kerala district, the death toll due to deadly Nipah virus has risen to 16 as state Health Ministry on Friday warned of a possible second outbreak.

Noting that all those in contact with the affected are still in the incubating period of the virus and hence utmost precaution has to be taken, State Minister K.K  Shailaja, said in the statement, underlined that even though there need be no fear or panic, as a matter of caution, all possible precautionary steps to be implemented.

“We had indicated at the outset itself, there could be a possible second outbreak and the vulnerable are those who would have in come in contact with the affected. All such people have to be closely watched… tests will reveal only at the appropriate time when the symptoms of Nipah virus surface, so all those who have come in direct contact with the earlier affected have to see they get in touch with the special control room set up in Kozhikode,” she asserted.

As per the state health department so far out of the 18 who tested positive for Nipah, 16 have lost their lives, but the remaining two, however, are recovering.

The latest warning came after two new deaths were reported on Thursday. Both were undergoing treatment at the state-run hospital at Balussery in the southern state.

According to the world health organisation report, At least 753 people are under observation for Nipah virus symptoms, At least 753 peersons are under observation for Nipah virus symptoms.

“One deceased case, the index case, could not be tested but was epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case. There are 16 suspected cases identified through contact tracing who are under observation while their laboratory results are pending and at least 753 additional people, including healthcare workers, under observation. Laboratory testing is being conducted by the Manipal Institute of Virus Research and the National Institute of Virology, Pune; both laboratories have advanced capacity for RT-PCR, the Indian Express quoted WHO as saying.

Nipah Virus is an emerging infectious zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. It was first reported in Malaysia in 1998.

It is spread by fruit bats and can be transferred from a human through close contact, body fluids, saliva and cough.


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