Two persons have died in Kerala’s Kozhikode district due to the Nipah virus, while two more have contracted the virus, state Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday, according to PTI.
The first death – that of a 47-year-old man – took place on August 30, and was initially attributed to a comorbidity of liver cirrhosis. However, his nine-year-old son and 24-year-old brother-in-law tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
The second person died at Kozhikode’s Aster Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital on September 11.
State health officials are now identifying all those who had come in contact with the infected persons. One of those who died has a contact list of 168 persons while the second has a list of 158 persons, George said.
“On the basis of the protocols, 16 committees have been formed, 75 rooms have been prepared at Kozhikode Medical College,” George said on Wednesday, reported ANI. “Two centres in Kozhikode district and a five kilometre radius around it have been declared as containment zones.”
People will not be allowed to travel in or out of these containment zones comprising seven village panchayats till further notice, Kozhikode District Collector A Geetha said, according to PTI. The police will cordon off these areas. Stores selling essential commodities will be open from 7 am to 5 pm in the containment zones.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that a central team will be sent to Kerala to take stock of the situation and assist the state government, reported NDTV.
Nipah virus encephalitis is a zoonotic disease that naturally transmits from vertebrate animals to humans and also the other way around.
The virus causes fever and upper respiratory distress in humans that quickly escalates to encephalitis or inflammation in the brain. In some cases, infected people have also shown symptoms of myocarditis, or the inflammation of the heart.