Nipah kills one more in Kerala's Kozhikode as death toll rises to 17; victim had tested negative for virus on first occasion

The Nipah virus killed one more person in Kerala's Kozhikode district on Friday, taking the death toll to 17, reports said.

Doctors wear safety masks as a precaution after the outbreak of 'Nipah' virus, at a hospital in Kozhikode. PTI

Doctors at a hospital in Kozhikode. PTI

The deceased, Rasin (25), who hails from Naduvannur town in Kozhikode had earlier tested negative for the virus. His results, however, came back positive after a second test, The News Minute reported.

Rasin is reportedly in the list of those who were in contact with the first victims of the Nipah virus and is believed to have contracted the infection from Ismail, who passed away on the 20 May.


Apart from this, another person has been tested positive for the infection in Kozhikode, PTI said. The total number of persons tested positive for Nipah now stand at 18.

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.

Currently, there is no vaccine or drug for the treatment of the Nipah virus infection. The treatment for human cases is supportive and management treatment along with intensive supportive care

The virus spreads through close contact with people's secretions and excretions. Eating food which may have the droplets of saliva and urine of infected bats can lead to the transmission of the virus.

Earlier, cases of Nipah virus were reported from Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia in 2007 in the eastern state of West Bengal and around 47 deaths were reported.

Over the last few weeks, several state governments in India have issued health advisories, warning people of the dangers as well as the symptoms of the Nipah virus infection.

Last week, the Rajasthan government asked people not to travel to affected parts of Kerala and for officials to maintain caution. Even the health department in Kerala has issued advisory for people travelling to the state and urged travellers to be extra cautious while visiting Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad, and Kannur districts, according to Business Standard.

Based on latest reports, the Indian Council of Medical Research may soon be able to offer a method to neutralise the effects of the Nipah virus. The medical body has acquired an antibody from Australia to neutralise the virus.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 01, 2018 17:47:10 IST

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