Doctors in Kerala on Thursday said that a man had succumbed to the Nipah virus, taking the toll to 17, reports said. The latest victim has been identified as Rashin, a 25-year-old resident of Neduvannur, who was being treated at the Kozhikode Medical College and Hospital, The Times of India reported.

On Wednesday, two people had died from the virus. Kerala Health Director RL Saritha said that the state had not received any information about the death of an army man who is suspected to have died of Nipah in Kolkata earlier this week.

Saritha said the contact list of those under observation has now been widened to 1,353 people, The Hindu reported. She had said nine people are under surveillance at the Kozhikode hospital.

The virus can be transferred from animals to humans. It causes fever and cold-like symptoms, before quickly advancing to encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. There is no vaccine or cure for Nipah at present.