The toll in the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala rose to 12 on Saturday with the death of a woman at the Government Medical College in Kozhikode. Kalyani, who hailed from Narippatta village in the district, tested positive for the virus earlier in the day. Till Thursday, 14 of the 160 people examined for the virus had tested positive.
Nipah 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 infection at present.
The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases on Friday found that body fluid samples collected from insectivorous bats in Changaroth gram panchayat in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, where the first Nipah-related death occurred, did not have the virus. Researchers from the institute also found that the infection has not spread to other animals. They, however, have not not ruled out the role of fruit bats in spreading the infection.