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Centre Confirms 2 Nipah Virus Deaths In Kerala, 4 Patients Suspected To Be Infected

Centre Confirms 2 Nipah Virus Deaths In Kerala, 4 Patients Suspected To Be Infected

Nipah Virus Deaths: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya confirmed on Tuesday that two fatalities in Kerala’s Kozhikode district were caused by the Nipah virus infection, raising concerns about the potential resurgence of the deadly pathogen. He also said that four additional individuals are suspected to have contracted the virus and their samples have been dispatched to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Maharashtra’s Pune for testing.

Union Health Minister Mandaviya confirmed the Nipah virus as the cause of the two deaths, assuring the public that experts are en route to support the state’s response. “A central team of experts has been sent to the state to take stock of the situation. It will also help the state government in the management of the infection,” he stated, as quoted by PTI.

While Mandaviya said Kerala Health Minister Veena George confirmed the Nipah virus fatalities, PTI reported her as telling the media that she contacted the officials concerned at Pune NIV who told her that the samples sent from Kozhikode were still being processed. 

In response to the alarming situation, a central team of medical experts has been swiftly dispatched to Kerala to assess the gravity of the Nipah virus outbreak and collaborate with the state authorities in managing the infection.

The development unfolded with reports of two “unnatural deaths” occurring after episodes of fever in Kozhikode on Monday. The Kerala health department confirmed that relatives of one of the deceased individuals have also been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Earlier today, the Kerala government established a control room in Kozhikode and advised citizens to use masks as a precautionary measure.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressed the state via a Facebook post, acknowledging the gravity of the two deaths. He assured the public that most individuals who had close contact with the deceased are receiving medical treatment, urging calm.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George chaired a high-level meeting to assess the situation in Kozhikode. She emphasised that the entire healthcare apparatus in the district has been placed on high alert, PTI reported.

Notably, the Kozhikode had previously encountered Nipah virus outbreaks in 2018 and 2021.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Nipah virus infection is zoonotic, typically transmitted to humans from animals. However, it can also spread through contaminated food or human-to-human contact. The virus manifests in various forms, ranging from asymptomatic or subclinical infections to severe acute respiratory illness and, in some cases, fatal encephalitis.

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