Kerala- On Tuesday, the Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, confirmed that the Nipah virus caused two deaths in Kerala’s Kozhikode district. In response to this alarming development, a central team of experts has been dispatched to Kerala to assess the situation and collaborate with the state government in managing the Nipah virus infection.
The deaths, initially categorized as “unnatural deaths” following fever, were reported on Monday. The Kerala health department noted that relatives of one of the deceased are also admitted to the ICU, further heightening concerns.
Following these fatalities, the health department promptly issued an alert in the district. Health officials have officially confirmed that the Nipah virus caused the deaths.
Samples from four more individuals in Kerala have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing as authorities work diligently to contain the spread of the deadly virus. To address the situation, the Kerala government established a control room in Kozhikode and advised residents to use masks as a precautionary measure.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reassured the public that while the government takes the deaths seriously, there is no need to panic. Most individuals with close contact with the deceased are already receiving medical treatment. Kerala Health Minister Veena George convened a high-level meeting to assess the situation in Kozhikode, affirming that the entire health apparatus in the district is on high alert.
Nipah virus-related deaths were previously reported in Kozhikode in 2018 and 2021. The Nipah virus is a zoonotic illness that spreads from animals to people via contaminated food or person-to-person contact. It causes symptoms ranging from mild infection to severe respiratory sickness and even deadly encephalitis.