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Kerala Nipah outbreak HIGHLIGHTS: People advised against eating fruits lying on ground, fruit bats suspected carriers

A nursing assistant, Lini, who had treated the deceased, died today morning. However, doctors are yet to confirm if she had contracted the Nipah virus, which spreads through bats. Follow HIGHLIGHTS here.

Written by Vishnu Varma | Kozhikode |
Updated: May 22, 2018 11:12:51 am
Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja during the press conference. (Express Photo by Vishnu Varma)

A high-level team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) arrived in Kerala’s Kozhikode on Monday after the deadly Nipah virus claimed six lives in the district. Neighbours reportedly told medical officials that they saw the three members of the family – brothers Swalih and Sabith and their paternal aunt Mariyam – consuming what looked like fruits picked up from a compound in which they are building a home on Sunday. Following the deaths, Union minister J P Nadda directed the team to visit the district to assist the state government. A nursing assistant, Lini, who had treated the deceased, died today morning. However, doctors are yet to confirm if she had contracted the virus, which spreads through bats.

Read in Malayalam or Tamil here.

Live Blog

The deadly Nipah virus has claimed three lives in Kozhikode district of Kerala, spreading panic across the state. Follow this space for HIGHLIGHTS:

11:12 (IST)22 May 2018
Over to the new blog

To track the latest developments of Nipah virus outbreak from Kerala, follow our new blog. Read more

21:50 (IST)21 May 2018
No paucity of funds to battle the outbreak, assures Health Minister KK Shylaja

Nine people are under observation at the Medical College in Kozhikode. Treatment is being given to them. Isolation wards have been set up at the medical college and the local hospitals in the area if new cases come up. There is no paucity of funds and the government will do everything possible to ensure treatment for all with similar symptoms,  KK Shylaja added.

21:47 (IST)21 May 2018
Kerala Health Minister mourns the death of nurse Lini, assures family of govt help

Minister KK Shylaja said that the death of the nurse Lini who was taking care of the infected at the taluk hospital is saddening. 'She was doing her service for the people. Her untimely passing away during that service hurts us all. The government will do everything possible to help her family,' she said

21:41 (IST)21 May 2018
People advised not to eat fruits lying on ground as they might be contaminated


A team of doctors from AIIMS in Delhi will arrive in Kozhikode tomorrow to coordinate with the state health department and conduct further tests. People are mainly advised not to eat fruits from the ground which may have been eaten/licked by the fruit bats.

21:38 (IST)21 May 2018
Fruit bats suspected to be the primary carriers of Nipah virus

It is suspected that fruit bats are the primary carriers of the virus in Perambra. All people, who were in primary and secondary contact, with the infected are being closely observed and if they show similar symptoms, they can be admitted to the hospital. This is the third outbreak of the virus in India after Nadia and Siliguri in West Bengal. The virus does not have a risk of extensive spread but the worrying factor is that the mortality risk (70-80%) is high, NCDC director Sujit K Singh  informed.

21:35 (IST)21 May 2018
NCDC director visits affected region

NCDC director Sujit K Singh told reporters at the press meeting in Kozhikode that he along with the other team members visited the affected region and the household of the family in which three deaths were reported. 

20:56 (IST)21 May 2018
#UPDATE | Three confirmed, three more suspected deaths from Nipah virus

The state government has confirmed the death toll due to Nipah virus has risen to six. Three of which have been tested and the other three are epidemiologically linked.

Two of the deaths which are epidemiologically linked have been patients who lay on beds next to the infected persons at the local hospital. Lini, the nurse who died, had treated the infected at the taluk hospital. But her case has not been tested.

19:55 (IST)21 May 2018
Health Minister KK Shylaja, central team set to brief press on Nipah outbreak

18:44 (IST)21 May 2018
Health minister to address press shortly

17:02 (IST)21 May 2018
Death toll rises to six

Kozhikode district collector confirms that the death toll due to Nipah Virus has risen to six, ANI reports.

14:43 (IST)21 May 2018
Suspected cases isolated as precautionary measure: Health minister

"We have listed the persons who have got in touch with the patients. They have been isolated as a precautionary measure," the health minister said. She added that peripheral hospitals in the vicinity of Medical college have been asked to set up isolation wards and if they have patients with symptoms of the virus, they should be directed to the medical college.

14:40 (IST)21 May 2018
Health, labour ministers hold discussion with officials

Health Minister Shylaja and Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan, who hails from Kozhikode, held discussions with officials and assured that the government has taken all necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus, which has affected the state for the first time.

14:29 (IST)21 May 2018
Nurse who treated deceased dies, doctors yet to ascertain cause

A nursing assistant, Lini, who had treated the deceased, died this morning. However, doctors are yet to confirm if she had contracted the virus, which spreads through bats.

14:05 (IST)21 May 2018
Medical team arrives in Kerala

"The health minister has directed the 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 today. "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.

13:59 (IST)21 May 2018
Nipah outbreaks mostly between December and May

Indonesia, Thailand and Timor-Leste have identified antibodies against the virus in the bat population and the source of the virus has been isolated. Nipah cases tend to occur in a cluster or as an outbreak, although 18% of cases in Bangladesh were isolated. The outbreaks mostly occur between the period of December and May.

13:38 (IST)21 May 2018
Can Nipah virus infection be treated?

There is no vaccine for the disease and the primary treatment is intensive supportive care, according to WHO.

13:21 (IST)21 May 2018
In India, first outbreak in West Bengal

In India, the disease was first reported in 2001 and then in 2007. Seventy-one cases with 50 deaths were reported during the two outbreaks. Both the times, the disease was reported in areas of West Bengal bordering Bangladesh.

13:08 (IST)21 May 2018


Morbidity and mortality rates due to Nipah or Nipah-like virus encephalitis, South-East Asia Region, 2001-2012. (Source: WHO/South East Asia)

12:34 (IST)21 May 2018
NCDC chief Sujit Singh to lead medical team

National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) chief Sujit K Singh-led team will lead the central medical team in the state. The team will comprise of doctors from the epidemiology department, neuro-physicians, doctors from the respiratory department and animal husbandry experts.

11:57 (IST)21 May 2018
Centre will send medical team to Kozhikode on Monday: Alphons

Minister of State for Tourism Alphons K J on Sunday said the Centre has decided to send a team of medical experts to Kozhikode to review the situation on Monday.

The virus is present in bat urine and potentially, bat faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) The virus is present in bat urine and potentially, bat faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

What is Nipah Virus?

Nipah Virus is an emerging infectious disease that broke out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999. It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep. The infection is also known to affect human beings. The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is an RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus, and is closely related to Hendra virus. Read here for more information.

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