The Kerala Health Department sounded a health alert in Kozhikode district on Monday following two "unnatural" deaths suspected to be due to the Nipah virus infection. State Health Minister Veena George held a high-level meeting and reviewed the situation, the health department said in a statement on Monday night. It said two "unnatural" deaths following fever were reported from a private hospital, and it is suspected that these were due to the Nipah virus.
Nipah virus (NiV)
Relatives of one of the deceased are also admitted to the intensive care unit, it said. Deaths due to Nipah virus infection were reported in Kozhikode district in 2018 and 2021. The first Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in south India was reported from Kozhikode on May 19, 2018.
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. Among infected people, it causes a range of illnesses, from asymptomatic (subclinical) 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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