12 Sept 2023

2 Succumb To Nipah Virus In Kozhikode, Kerala; Govt taking These Measures


Kozhikode (Kerala): Two people have died due to Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya confirmed this on Tuesday September 12. He said that we have sent a team of experts to take stock of the situation and help the state government in dealing with it.
The first death due to Nipah virus in Kerala occurred on August 30 and the second death occurred on September 11. Confirmation has now been made. The Health Minister has instructed local health workers to keep strict vigil in their areas.

Samples of four other people sent

On the other hand, samples of four other people in Kerala have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for testing of Nipah virus. The Union Health Minister  said the results of the four suspected samples are awaited.

A control room has been set up in the state and people have been advised to wear masks.

People who were in contact with deceased are being traced


Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a post on September 12 that the government is serious over the death of two people due to Nipah virus. The health department has issued an alert in Kozhikode. The people who were in contact with the deceased are being traced. The outbreak of Nipah has not been officially declared in the state yet.


Earlier in the day, State Health Minister Veena George who reached the district, chaired a high-level meeting to evaluate the situation. She said the government was taking all precautionary steps. The health department today formed 16 core committees for surveillance, sample test and research management, contact tracing, and patient transportation management, among others.

17 died due to Nipah in Kerala in 2018

Kozhikode has experienced previous Nipah virus outbreaks, one in 2018 and other in 209 and 2021. During the first outbreak in 2018, a total of 23 cases were identified, with 17 people succumbing to this zoonotic virus in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala. 


A case of Nipah virus was reported in Kochi in 2019. At the same time, in 2021 also a case of Nipah virus was found in Kozhikode.

The death rate of this disease is very high. Till now there is no treatment or vaccine (injection) available.

Virus causes a range of illnesses


Nipah virus can spread to humans from animals like bats and pigs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic illness that is transmitted to people from animals and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person to person. Zoonotic virus is one which spreads from animals to humans or from humans to animals.


Among infected people, it causes a range of illnesses, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis. The virus can also cause severe disease in animals such as pigs, resulting in significant economic losses for farmers, WHO said.

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