Nipah virus in India records two more deaths, brings toll to 15

Two new cases of the deadly brain-damaging Nipah virus have been confirmed in the southern Indian state of Kerala, where another two people were killed by the virus, a health official said on Thursday.

Officials said messages have been sent to government and private hospitals to report back to Swastha Bhavan (state health department office) immediately if they come across any suspected case of Nipah virus infection.

"A 28-year-old and a 55-year-old man, who were undergoing treatment at hospitals in the Kozhikode district died on Wednesday, " Reena said. However, some of his relatives said he visited the medical college hospital recently to meet a relative of his friend.

The soldier had been on a month's leave to Kerala before rejoining duty on May 13.

. Meanwhile, his samples were sent to National Institute of Virology in Pune to see if it was a case of Nipah virus.

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"Till a report from the NIV in Pune is received, it can not be confirmed whether it was a case of nipah virus or not".

Symptoms of Nipah, named after the Malaysian village where it was first discovered, include high fever, headaches, convulsions and respiratory issues.

According to reports, the outbreak of the Nipah virus infection, a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well at Perambra in Kerala's Kozhikode district which was infested with bats.

Nipah virus can be transmitted by infected pigs, or by fruit bats, through their secretions of saliva, urine or faeces.

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