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Nipah claims two more lives in Kerala, minister warns of second outbreak

Posted June 2nd, 2018, 10:03 AM IST

Nipah claims two more lives in Kerala, minister warns of second outbreak

Kozhikode: With two more deaths being reported within the last two days in Kerala's Kozhikode, the death toll from Nipah virus has risen to 16. State Health Minister K K Shailaja Teacher has also warned of a possible second outbreak. "We have to be very cautious," she said and added that even though there is no need to panic, as a matter of caution, all possible precautionary steps should be taken.

"We had indicated at the outset itself, there could be a possible second outbreak and the vulnerable are those who would have in come in contact with the affected. All such people have to be closely watched... tests will reveal only at the appropriate time when the symptoms of Nipah virus surface, so all those who have come in direct contact with the earlier affected have to see they get in touch with the special control room set up in Kozhikode," she said.

Officials said that as a precautionary measure the staff, including nurses and four doctors of the hospital where the two patients died in the last two days, has been asked to go on leave for a week.

25-year-old Rasin, who died on Thursday, was initially treated at the Balussery hospital. He had first tested negative for Nipah, but later developed symptoms again and was admitted to the hospital where he died. He is suspected to have contacted it from one of the earlier victims.

After the death of a superintendent of Kozhikode district court complex due to Nipah, the district bar association asked the collector to temporarily put operations on hold. The health minister, however, said that the situation didn't warrant the shutting down of the court, and people who were in contact with the victims are under surveillance.

Reopening of schools in Kozhikode had been postponed to June 5.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has postponed all its written and online exams, scheduled to be held, till June 16. New dates will be announced later.

Also Read: Amid fears of another Nipah outbreak, Kerala steps up vigil, PSC exams postponed

Meanwhile, as part of 'Nipah alert', those who visited Kozhikode Medical College casualty, CT scan room and waiting room on May 14 and the Balussery Taluk Hospital on May 18 have been asked to contact the Nipah cell immediately.

Of the 203 samples tested for Nipah, there have been 18 positive cases, of whom 16 persons have lost their lives. There is one unconfirmed death and 17 suspected nipah cases are under observation, according to the official.

Union health ministry has issued a health advisory saying it's localised and there is no need to panic.