Nipah Virus Claims 5 Lives in Kozhikode? Kerala Government Asks Centre to Send Team Of Experts
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja (Photo Credit: Twitter/Representational Image)

Kozhikode, May 20: Panic gripped Kerala following the death of five persons in Peramabra of Kozhikode district. The deceased were infected with an unknown virus. The Kerala government has asked the Centre to send a team of experts to control the situation.

According to a report published in Hindustan Times, eight persons are serious and 25 are under observation. An official of the health department said that the doctors were unable to pinpoint the virus, so patients were being treated with supportive medicines.

An isolation ward has been opened in Kozhikode medical college hospital by the state government’s health department. The department has also formed a task force headed by district collector U V Jose. According to the report, A nurse who attended to the deceased and four of his family members is also among the patients undergoing treatment. Three persons died within a span of two weeks of an undetected disease. Two others who were on ventilators died on Sunday.

The government has sought help from private hospitals. Virology experts from Manipal and Apollo hospitals have visited the area. Blood samples of affected persons are taken and a list has been prepared of all those who interacted with the deceased to keep them under observation. State Health Minister KK Shailaja appealed to the people not to panic.

“The samples of the infected have been collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology. We are expecting results in a couple of days,” reported Hindustan Times quoting the minister as saying.  She also asked the Centre to rush a team of experts.

Doctors are of the opinion that it may be viral encephalitis-induced myocarditis (a disease marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle). According to doctors, the virus might have spread through birds or animals.

It is also believed by some that Nipah virus is behind these deaths. Nipah (NiV) is a newly-emerged virus that causes severe diseases in both animals and human beings. No vaccine has been discovered for the treatment of persons affected with the virus.