Kozhikode (Kerala), May 22: The toll due to the Nipah virus (NiP), presently identified in Kerala’s Kozhikode and Malappuram, rose to 10 on Tuesday even as the Central and state governments scrambled to contain its outbreak.State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who is now based at Kozhikode and shuttling to Malappuram, told the media that till Tuesday, 18 samples have been sent for investigation.”Of these, 12 have been identified – of which 10 sufferers have died and two are serious. The medical professionals are doing their best, even as two patients with this virus passed away today (Tuesday) morning,” said Shailaja and added that 11 in Kozhikode are under observation.
The virus first claimed the lives of two brothers and their aunt in Perambara near here. Even though Nipah virus, spread by direct contact with infected fruit bats, pigs or from other infected persons, infects both animals and humans, Central Animal Husbandary Commissioner S.P. Suresh, who is part of the Central team here, said that after their examination of animals in the affected areas, no incidence of virus in animals has been identified and instead it is the humans that have been affected. (IANS)