Nipah outbreak: Toll touches 12, govt calls all-party meet today

Nipah outbreak: Toll touches 12, govt calls all-party meet today

The number of deaths caused by the Nipah Virus (NiV) infection in Kerala touched 12 on Thursday with the death of V Moosa (62), a native of Changaroth near Perambra in Kozhikode district.

Moosa is the father of Mohammed Sabid and Mohammed Salih who had died earlier from the infection. The siblings and Mariam, wife of Moosa’s brother, were the first victims of the infection in the state. All the deaths have been reported from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

Another case of NiV infection was confirmed in a woman, a nursing student, admitted to the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital, on Thursday. The number of people infected with the virus in the state is 15. About 20 people (suspected cases) are undergoing treatment in Kozhikode district. The state Health Department is awaiting results of tests done on blood and body fluid samples collected from 160 people.

The Kozhikode district administration has cancelled all government events scheduled in the district till May 31. The health department has maintained that the infection is localised and has one family in Perambra as its epicentre. The authorities, however, remained in surveillance mode in Kozhikode and in the neighbouring districts of Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur. The state government has called an all-party meeting in Kozhikode, on Friday, to take stock of the situation and discuss follow-up measures.

Many families in Changaroth have moved out following the deaths. V Jayashree, Kozhikode District Medical Officer, said staff at the taluk hospital in Perambra where the NiV infection was first reported complained about discrimination by people in the village amid fears over the outbreak.