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Published On: Tue, May 22nd, 2018

Nipah virus infection: death toll rises to 11 in Kerala

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Kozhikode: Family members of the patients admitted at the Kozhikode Medical College wear safety masks as a precautionary measure after the 'Nipah' virus outbreak, in Kozhikode, on Monday. (PTI Photo)(PTI5_21_2018_000184B)

Kozhikode: Family members of the patients admitted at the Kozhikode Medical College wear safety masks as a precautionary measure after the ‘Nipah’ virus outbreak, in Kozhikode, on Monday. (PTI Photo)(PTI5_21_2018_000184B)

THIRUVANANATHAPURAM: 11 deaths have been confirmed in Kerala from the Nipah virus and two persons are critical, the state government said on Tuesday. The infection is believed to have started with a family in Kozhikode, in which two brothers and another woman have died. Officials say around 94 people have been quarantined inside their homes.

Some nine people are under surveillance in hospitals. No new case has been reported in the last 24 hours, said Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja. Of 18 samples tested for the virus, 12 were found positive. Those who have died are mainly from Kozhikode and Mallapuram. Eight have died just in Kozhikode, where one house in a village was identified as the epicenter.
The nurse who was in the team that treated the family, Lini Puthussery, also died yesterday. The 31-year-old mother of two left a heart-wrenching final note for her husband. She couldn’t meet her family as she was kept in an isolation ward. She was cremated soon after her death to prevent the spread of infection.
There is no vaccine yet for the virus, which spreads mostly through direct contact. Doctors say the virus spreads fast and leads to death in 70 per cent cases The number of deaths due to the Nipah virus infection in Kerala has risen to 11 with blood and body fluid samples of more people turning positive on Tuesday.
Three of the deceased are from Malappuram district, who were reportedly in contact with those undergoing treatment at the Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode for the infection.

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja told the media that of the 18 samples sent for laboratory tests, 12 had been positive. Two of the confirmed patients are undergoing treatment at private hospitals in Kozhikode. The blood samples of the first victim could not be sent for lab tests, though by now it is assumed that he should also have been infected by the disease.

Sixteen people are under observation at the Institute of Chest Diseases, geriatric and observation ward of the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode. Rajan of Koorachundu and Ashokan of Chekkiad died due to the infection on Tuesday.

They were undergoing treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital and Baby Memorial Hospital in the city respectively.(With Agency Inputs ).

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