Kerala: Nipah cases climb to six; contact list expands to 1080

The Kerala Government has announced stricter restrictions in response to the confirmation of one additional case of Nipah virus infection on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to six.

Two people died due to the virus infection in the latest outbreak.

Currently, the list of confirmed Nipah patients’ contacts comprises 1,080 people, with 130 new additions on Friday. Among these, 327 are healthcare workers.

Besides Kozhikode, there are 29 people on the contact list who reside in neighboring districts: 22 in Malappuram, three in Kannur, three in Thrissur, and one in Wayanad.

Health Minister Veena George has informed that the number of people on the contact list is likely to increase.

All educational institutes in Kozhikode district will remain closed for a week until next Sunday in view of the Nipah virus outbreak reported from the region, the state government announced.

Meanwhile, the health department officials said that they have achieved a breakthrough in the fight against Nipah after they succeeded in establishing the virus infection in the index case on Friday.

The health department confirmed that the index case, a 47-year-old person, died of Nipah on 30 August.

IQRAA Hospital in Kozhikode, where the 47-year-old died, had collected his throat swab after his demise and forwarded it to NIV-Pune. Subsequently, the second victim, who succumbed to Nipah on 11 September, contracted the virus during a visit to the same hospital. Furthermore, two family members of the 47-year-old, a healthcare worker at the hospital, and another individual seeking treatment at the same facility, tested positive. This suggests that the virus transmission this time started with the 47-year-old.