A 23-year-old man admitted in a private hospital in Ernakulam, Kerala, has been tested positive for the deadly Nipah virus. The National Institute of Virology, which tested the man's blood samples, has confirmed the presence of the virus.
Four more people, including two nurses, are down with fever. Two of them had come in contact with the 23-year-old man. Doctors said 52 people were under observation on Monday after they came in contact with the confirmed Nipah patient. Of them, 11 were students who had travelled with him to Thrissur for internship.
The Kerala government said people should not panic as it had put in place all precautionary measures even before the virus was confirmed. The government said the situation is under control. As precautionary measures, isolation wards have been ordered in three districts - Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode.
Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans and then spreads through people to people contact. It is associated with fatal encephalitis and respiratory illness. In initial stages, it causes fever, headache, muscle pain, dizziness and nausea.The epidemic had killed 17 people last year. There is no known vaccine against the virus.