The Nipah virus has so far claimed 10 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts in north Kerala while the condition of two affected persons undergoing treatment for the viral disease is said to be critical, health minister K.K. Shylaja said on Tuesday.
The World Health Organisation has been informed about the outbreak of the virus in Kerala, she told reporters here on Tuesday.
Two persons — Rajan and Ashokan — who were undergoing treatment at Kozhikode, died on Tuesday morning and have been confirmed to have contacted the virus, she said.
A nursing assistant, Lini, who died on Monday, had also contacted the virus, she added.
Of the 18 samples sent for testing, 12 have tested positive for the virus, of which 10 people have died.
Two persons from Malappuram had died on May 20 and they had also tested positive for the Nipah virus.
The two — Sindhu and Sijitha — had come to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital for treatment and had been in touch with one of the infected persons who had died of the virus, the minister said.
No fresh case has been reported so far, she said.
Shyalaja said Union health minister, J.P. Nadda, who is in Geneva, had called her and enquired about the situation and has promised all help from the Union government.
A team from the National Centre for Disease Control, including its director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, and Head of Epidemiology, Dr S.K. Jain, is already in Kerala.
A high-level team from All India Institute of Medical Sciences has also reached the state, she said.