Kozhikode on High Alert: Two ‘Unusual’ Deaths Trigger Nipah Alert

In response to the reports of two unnatural deaths caused by fever at a private hospital, the Health department has issued a health alert for the Kozhikode district, according to a statement made here late on Monday.

A relative of one of the deceased is also now receiving medical attention in an intensive care unit. On Wednesday, it’s anticipated that the patient’s test results will be released.The family of one of the deceased are reportedly in intensive care, and Nipah Virus (NiV) is thought to be to blame for the deaths. According to local medical authorities, the first suspected death—that of a 49-year-old man—took place on August 30. Health officials became concerned when the deceased man’s son sought care with what they believed to be Nipah symptoms.It is learnt that four relatives of the deceased, including a 25 year old man and three children, are currently under treatment. Sources said that the second suspected death that of a 40 year old man took place on Monday

It may be recalled that Kerala has had three Nipah outbreaks so far, two of which were in Kozhikode. The first NiV outbreak from South India was reported from Kozhikode in May 2018. 23 instances in total, including the index case and its 18 laboratory-confirmed counterparts, were found. 17 people passed away during the initial outbreak. The second incident included a single incident that was recorded in Ernakulam in 2019. When a 12-year-old died of encephalitis in Kozhikode in 2021, Nipah was once again reported, but this time the outbreak was limited to a single case.The symptoms of nipah virus infection can vary, from asymptomatic (subclinical) infections to severe respiratory sickness and deadly encephalitis in infected people.

The Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic disease that can be passed from person to person, through contaminated food, or directly from animal to human, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to WHO, the virus can also cause serious illness in pigs and other animals, costing farmers a great deal of money.

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