Three of the 10 deaths caused by a mystery viral fever in Kerala’s Kozhikode were confirmed to have been caused by the Nipah virus, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has said.
- At least nine people have reportedly died and 25 more have been infected in an outbreak of the Nipah virus in India.
- Nipah is a deadly virus that can be transmitted between people. It has killed between 40% and 75% of infected people in past outbreaks.
- Fruit bats are the natural host of the disease, and there is no cure or vaccine.
- Nipah is considered a newly emerging deadly virus – scientists only found out that it could jump from bats to other species, including humans, within the past 20 years. The disease is currently incurable and can be transmitted from person to person.
- Nipah first appeared in Malaysia in 1998, when 265 people became infected with a strange illness that caused encephalitis, or brain inflammation, after they came into contact with pigs or sick people. In that outbreak, 105 people died, a fatality rate of 40%.
- Many patients first experienced fever and headache, followed by drowsiness and confusion. Some patients have also shown respiratory flu-like symptoms while infected. In other cases, symptoms progressed to a coma within a day or two.