Union Health Minister Confirms Nipah Virus in Kerala, Central Team Dispatched

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Tuesday that two deaths in Kerala’s Kozhikode district have been attributed to the Nipah virus. He further revealed that four individuals suspected of Nipah virus infection are currently under surveillance, with their samples sent for testing.

To assess the situation and provide support for Nipah virus management, a Central team has been dispatched to Kerala, as stated by Mandaviya during a press conference.

Mandaviya emphasized the need for precautions and noted that the virus is spread by bats. He mentioned that the Health Ministry has prepared guidelines to ensure safety.

The initial death occurred on August 30, followed by a second death on September 11. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed deep concern over these “unnatural deaths” in Kozhikode, and the state’s health department issued an alert in the district.

Health officials suspect Nipah virus infection as the cause of the deaths, prompting the issuance of an alert in the district following a review meeting chaired by State Health Minister Veena George.

Notably, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts experienced a Nipah outbreak in 2018, and a Nipah case was reported in Kozhikode in 2021.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nipah Virus, transmitted by fruit bats, poses a potential threat to both humans and animals. Symptoms can include respiratory illness, fever, muscular pain, headache, dizziness, and nausea, with the virus having the potential to be fatal.

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