Nipah Virus: Death Toll Rises 6, Centre Rushes NCDC Team


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Kerala: The Health Department of Kerala confirmed that six people had died in Kozhikode district of Kerala after having been infected by a rare virus called Nipah.

On Sunday evening Kerala Health Services Director Dr R L Saritha said, “Today, we got the confirmation report from National Institute of Virology, Pune. We had sent four samples to the institute and three of them tested positive for Nipah virus.”

The outbreak of the deadly virus had spread panic across the state. The latest victim of the outbreak was a nurse who treated the virus-hit patients at Perambra Taluk Hospital. At least seven deaths have been reported from Kozhikode district and four people died in Malappuram due to the viral encephalitis. Of the 11 deaths, three were confirmed due to the deadly Nipah virus.

Union Minister JP Nadda on Sunday directed the Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to visit Kerala’s Kozhikode district.

“Reviewed the situation of deaths related to Nipah virus in Kerala with Secretary Health. I have directed Director NCDC to visit the district and initiate required steps as warranted by the protocol for the disease in consultation with state government,” Nadda said in a tweet.

What is Nipah Virus:

Nipah virus (NiV) infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The virus is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care, the WHO says on its website.