Two more persons died due to Nipah virus contamination in Kerala on Tuesday, taking the total number of deaths due to the rare virus to five. The deaths have been reported from Kozhikode medical college and hospital in Kerala. The deceased were being treated in isolation ward.
Earlier reports had said that at least eight people have been kept under observation over suspicion of Nipah virus contamination.
Five more people have died due to high fever and similar symptoms of the virus in Kozhikode and neighbouring Malappuram districts. But it has not yet been confirmed if these deaths were due to Nipah.
Considering the seriousness of the situation, the Centre on Monday rushed a high-level team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), including its director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh and Head of Epidemiology, Dr SK Jain.
Meanwhile, hospitals in Goa have been asked by the state health department to be on alert to tackle possible outbreak of the deadly virus in the state.
According to Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, random checks are also being done on people coming to the state from Kerala. He said that this is being done in accordance with the directives of the central government.
Authorities fear that the deadly virus can spread to Goa and Mumbai in the next few days.
According to information available on World Health Organisation (WHO), India has in the past documented human-to-human transmission of the rare Nipah virus. The global health body says that the virus causes severe disease in both humans and animals.
As per a report on WHO website, Nipah is a newly emerging virus, which gets transferred from animals to humans, and it causes severe disease in both animals as well as humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the “Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus”.