Nipah virus death toll rises to 15, two new cases found in India's Kerala

Published: May 31, 2018
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People wear masks as they wait outside a casualty ward at a hospital in Kozhikode in the southern state of Kerala, India, May 23, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

People wear masks as they wait outside a casualty ward at a hospital in Kozhikode in the southern state of Kerala, India, May 23, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

KOCHI/MUMBAI: Two new cases of the deadly brain-damaging Nipah virus have been confirmed in the southern Indian state of Kerala, where another two people were killed by the virus, a health official said on Thursday.

The two new Nipah cases in Kerala take the total number of confirmed cases to 17, Kozhikode district medical officer V. Jayashree told Reuters. Fifteen of those people have died, she said.

The latest victims, identified as Madhusudhanan, 55, and Akhil, 28, were believed to have contracted the virus from a medical college, Jayashree said. No confirmed cases of the virus have been found yet outside Kerala despite fears it had spread.

Death of Indian soldier renews fears over rare virus

Several other Indian states have sent samples for testing from people who reported Nipah-like symptoms in the past few days.

Samples taken from bats in Kozhikode district, the suspected epicentre of the infection, have been sent for testing to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, animal husbandry officer A. Mohandas said, as officials continue to try to track the root of the outbreak.

Five dead in India from Nipah virus, dozens quarantined

There is no vaccine for the virus, which is spread through bodily fluids and can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, the World Health Organization says.

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