India Nipah virus outbreak death toll touches 17
NEW DELHI – The death toll in Nipah virus outbreak in India has risen to 17, with a death of a 25-year-old man in the southern state of Kerala, officials said Friday.
“The latest death took place in the state’s Kozhikode district, the epicentre of the Nipah virus outbreak, Thursday night, while another person tested positive for the infection at a state-run hospital there,” a health official said.
The death came a day after a 56-year-old man and a 28-year-old youth died at the Kozhikode Medical College and Hospital even as the Indian Health Ministry had claimed last month to have contained the deadly virus. Apart
from the 17 deaths in Kerala’s Kozhikode and Mallapuram districts, some 94 people have been quarantined in their homes while 17 others are under treatment in hospitals. “All steps to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken,” state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said.
Health officials have identified a bat-infested well in a house in Kozhikode district as the likely epicentre of the outbreak of Nipah virus in this country.
This is the third outbreak of Nipah virus in India. Two other outbreaks of the virus were reported in 2001 and 2007, respectively, in eastern state of West Bengal that shares its border with Bangladesh, claiming 50 lives.
Health experts say there is no vaccine for the virus that causes fever and breathlessness in affected patients as initial symptoms, and only intensive care can help.