Hospital staff wears safety masks as a precautionary measure at the Kozhikode Medical College after the ‘Nipah’ virus outbreak, in Kozhikode. (Image : PTI)

Nipah Virus Claims 10 Lives In Kerala, Two Others Critical

The Nipah virus has so far claimed 10 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts in north Kerala while the condition of two persons undergoing treatment for the viral disease is said to be critical, Health Minister KK Shylaja said today.

The World Health Organisation has been informed about the outbreak of the virus in Kerala, she told reporters. Two persons – Rajan and Ashokan – who were undergoing treatment at Kozhikode and died this morning, have been confirmed to have contracted the virus, she said.

A nursing assistant, Lini, who died yesterday had also contracted the virus, she added. Of the 18 samples sent for testing, 12 have tested positive for the virus, of which 10 people have died.

Two deaths reported on May 20 from Malappuram – Sindhu and Sijitha – have tested positive for Nipah virus. The two had come to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital for treatment and had been in touch with one of the infected persons who had died of the virus, the minister said.

No fresh case has been reported so far, she said adding that WHO has been informed.

Shyalaja said Union Health Minister JP Nadda, who is in Geneva, had called her and enquired about the situation in the state and has promised all help from the central government.

An expert team from the National Centre for Disease Control, including its director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh and Head of Epidemiology, Dr SK Jain, are already in Kerala.

A high level team from AIIMS has also reached the state, she said.

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