KOZHIKODE: The Heath Department on Sunday confirmed the disease which claimed the lives of three persons from a single family at Perambra in Kozhikode was due to the infection of rare virus Nipah. The latest revelation has come after testing body fluid samples taken from the deceased at the National Institute of Virology, Pune. The lab report, which confirmed the presence of Nipah virus in blood and fluid collected from the victims’ brains, was received by health department on Sunday evening. The samples were taken from Muhammad Salih, 26, his brother Muhammad Sabith, 23, and his paternal aunt Mariyam, 50 — all from a single family in Perambra.
Meanwhile, the death toll rose to five and condition of nine infected persons remains critical at various hospitals in the district. Of the nine people, seven were kept in an isolation ward at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.
Ismael, 49, of Karol House, Koottalida, Thiruvod and Velayudhan, 48, of Thazhathilthodi, House, Nanmanad — both undergoing treatment for the past one week, died in the morning.Additional District Medical Officer (ADMO) Dr Asha Devi told Express that Ismael got infected after he came into contact with Sabith while Velayudhan had no contact with any infected persons. “Though he had shown similar symptoms as of the infected patients, he was a chronic kidney patient,” said Devi.
Meanwhile, more health officers were deployed in Perambra region and blood samples were collected from people in the region.
In the wake of reports, the health department’s special medical camps continued on Sunday in Perambra region. The camp was headed by virology expert Dr G Arun Kumar, who is the head of Virus Research Department at Manipal Hospital.District Medical Officer Dr V Jayasree said there was no need to panic.
Know Nipah virus
As per the World Health Organisation report, Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis (a disease transmitted to humans from animals) that causes severe ailments in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family.