KOCHI / MUMBAI (Reuters) – Two new cases of fatal brain-damaging Nipah virus have been confirmed in Kerala, southern India, where two more people were killed by the virus, a health official said Thursday.
The two new Nipah cases in Kerala take the total number of confirmed cases to 17, Kozhikode district doctor V. Jayashree told Reuters. Fifteen of these people have died, she said.
The youngest victims identified as Madhusudhanan (55) and Akhil (28) are said to have been infected by a medical school, Jayashree said.
Despite the fears it has spread, no confirmed cases of the virus have been found outside of Kerala. Several other Indian states have sent samples of people who have had Nipah-like symptoms in recent days for testing.
Samples of bats from the Kozhikode district, the alleged epicenter of the infection, were sent to the National Institute for High Security Disease in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, for investigation, official told A. Mohandas. Try to track the root of the outbreak ,
There is no vaccine for the virus that is spread by body fluids and can cause encephalitis or an inflammation of the brain, says the World Health Organization.
(For a chart on Nipah, Nipah-like cases in South Asia: 2001-2012, click on tmsnrt.rs/2KLha0e)
Reporting by D. Jose in Kochi and Subrat Patnaik in Mumbai; Editing by Euan Rocha and Paul Tait