Kozhikode: The health department is on high alert after the death of three people of a family who were suffering from viral fever. Doctors suspect a fatal virus called Nipah as the reason for the death.
Following the fatal virus alert, officials convened a meeting in Kozhikode and has set up a special task force to deal with the situation. The Central government is likely to intervene in the issue.
It is reported that 25 people are being kept under observation. Eight persons are undergoing treatment for the disease. Six persons are being treated at the Medical College hospital in Kozhikode, one at a private hospital in Kozhikode and Kochi.
A special medical team is camping in Perambra to take stock of the situation.
Changaroth native Mariyam (50), wife of Moidu Haji, who was under treatment for fever passed away on Saturday at a private hospital. Mariyam’s brother-in-law’s sons Salih (26) and Sabith (23) also lost their lives on Friday and on May 5 under the same health problems.
Meanwhile, Moosa (62), father of the deceased, is suffering from fever and is admitted in a critical condition at a private hospital in Kozhikode. Aathifa (19), fiancé of the deceased Salih is also suffering from fever and under treatment at a private hospital in Kochi. It is reported that a nurse named Lini who treated Sabith at Perambra Taluk hospital is also having the symptoms. A relative of the family, Noushad is also under treatment at Kozhikode medical college.
The health department has informed that the three deaths are due to the infection of a rare virus that affects the brain and heart. This virus is reported for the first time in the state. Though doctors suspect infection of Nipah virus, it is not confirmed yet.
“We can confirm the infection of Nipah virus after receiving the test reports of the blood samples from Manipal,” said health department director RL Saritha.
A team led by Dr AS Anoop Kumar, critical care medicine department head at Baby Memorial hospital in Kozhikode has identified the chances of virus infection in the deaths.
Blood samples have been sent to the Virology Research Centre at Manipal after suspecting the infection of virus that spread to human beings from bats and pigs. Following this, it is identified that it is a rare virus that affects brain.
The post mortem report of Salih also confirmed heart and brain failure as the cause of death.
An expert team of Manipal Virology Research Centre collected blood samples from the natives at Soopikkada. Health department officials have already collected the blood sample of relatives and neighbours of the deceased.
It is reported that rabbits in the residence of the deceased were found dead a few days ago. So it is suspected that the virus is being spread from animals.