Kerala Nipah virus: 10 people have died due to Nipah virus infection in Kerala (PTI)
Thiruvananthapuram: Ten deaths have been confirmed in Kerala from the Nipah virus and two persons are critical, the state government said on Tuesday. The infection is believed to have started with a family in Kozhikode, in which two brothers and another woman have died. Officials say around 94 people have been quarantined inside their homes. Some nine people are under surveillance in hospitals. No new case has been reported in the last 24 hours, said Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja. Of 18 samples tested for the virus, 12 were found positive.
Here is your 10-point cheat sheet on the Kerala Nipah virus outbreak:
- Those who have died are mainly from Kozhikode and Mallapuram. Eight have died just in Kozhikode, where one house in a village was identified as the epicentre.
- The infection reportedly spread from the family in Perambara who were the first to be brought to hospital with symptoms of Nipah.
- Two brothers of the family, both in their twenties, died on May 5 and a woman who was with them in hospital also died.
- Dead bats found in a well in their home are believed to have caused the infection. Officials visited the house and have sealed the well.
- The father of the young men is in a critical condition. All the other infected people have come in contact with the family in some way, says Kerala Health minister KK Shylaja.
- The only victims from Malappuram, Sindhu and Sijitha, contracted the virus after they came to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital for treatment and came in contact with one of the other victims, said the minister.
- The nurse who was in the team that treated the family, Lini Puthussery, also died yesterday. The 31-year-old mother of two left a heart-wrenching final note for her husband. She couldn't meet her family as she was kept in an isolation ward. She was cremated soon after her death to prevent the spread of infection.
- There is no vaccine yet for the virus, which spreads mostly through direct contact. Doctors say the virus spreads fast and leads to death in 70 per cent cases.
- The Nipah virus or NiV infection has symptoms like breathing trouble, brain swelling, fever, headache, drowsiness, delirium and even coma.
- NiV was first identified during an outbreak in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in 1998. In 2004, many were infected in Bangladesh after consuming date palm sap contaminated by infected fruit bats.
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