HW English

High-level team of doctors in Kerala to probe Nipah virus deaths

A high-level team of doctors constituted by the Union Health Ministry has been sent to Kerala to probe the death of three persons due to Nipah virus in Kozhikode district.

The ministry has constituted a multi-disciplinary team headed by the Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) , which has reached there today.

“The Health Minister has directed constitution of a high-level team of doctors and the selected team has reached Kerala. It is being suspected that the virus is being spread by bats,” a health ministry official said.

“The team comprises officials from the department of Animal Husbandry, National Institute of Immunology and Indian Council of Medical Research, among others. The ministry is in close touch with Kerala health department to monitor the situation,” the official added.

Nipah virus (NiV) infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Kozhikode health department is maintaining vigilance in the wake of three deaths. Two more persons, who were allegedly in contact with the deceased, are believed to be in a serious condition.

NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care, the WHO says on its website.

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