The death toll due to the deadly Nipah Virus in Kerala rose to 10 on Tuesday, while two more people undergoing treatment were in critical condition, the state government said.
All the deaths were reported in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of north Kerala and the state government had informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) about the outbreak.
“Two persons—Rajan and Ashokan, who were undergoing treatment at Kozhikode, died this morning, have been confirmed to have contracted the virus. A nursing assistant, Lini, who died Monday had also contracted the virus,” PTI quoted state Health Minister KK Shylaja as saying.
The health minister informed that so far, 12 people have been tested positive for the virus, of which 10 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.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda had enquired about the situation in the state and promised all the possible help from the central government, she said.
The Centre has rushed teams of National Centre for Disease -Control (NCDC), National Institute of Virology and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme to contain the outbreak of Nipah Virus.
What is Nipah Virus?
The deadly Nipah virus, which broke out in Kerala, is a new emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Also known as NiV, the Nipah virus is an acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis which is found in horses, pigs, fruit bats and humans.
The Virus was named after the Malaysian village Kampung Sungai Nipah, where it was first discovered in pigs in 1998. The NiV is related to the Hendra Virus and is caused by an RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus.
In 2014, the virus was diagnosed in humans in Bangladesh after they consumed date palm sap that was contaminated by infected fruit bats.
(With inputs from agencies)