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‘Rare virus’ kills three of a family in Kerala’s Kozhikode; relatives, nurse too admitted to hospital

Kozhikode: There is panic in this coastal city of Kerala after three members of a family died due to a ‘rare virus’ over the last fortnight. A woman from the family succumbed at a private hospital at Changaroth near Perambra on Saturday. She had contracted viral encephalitis, reported The Times of India. Health Minister K K Shailaja said they have taken note of the situation.


An emergency meeting of senior health and district administration officials was also held on Saturday night to assess the situation, after which the minister said a “rare virus” was the cause of the deaths.
“Tests conducted at the Manipal virology laboratory have revealed that a rare virus, which is not commonly found in the state, has caused the deaths. The samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune to ascertain the exact type of virus. We expect the results by tomorrow (Sunday) or day after,” the minister said, as per the newspaper.
The report said there was panic in the area following the deaths and that the health department has been put on high alert.
Mariyam (50) passed away on Saturday. She was the aunt of VK Salih, who breathed last just a day before on Friday. Salih’s brother Muhammed Sahid (26) was the first one to succumb to the virus at the Kozhikode Medical College on May 5.


In fact, Salih’s fiancée Athifa (19) and his father Moosa are also ill and admitted at different private hospitals in Kochi and Kozhikode. Further, a nurse who works at the Peramba hospital and one relative of Salih who took part in the funeral rites are also admitted at two different hospitals.
While asking the people not to panic and believe the rumours, Health Minister Shailaja said they have informed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and asked the Centre to send in a team of medical experts to the affected area.
The minister said the virus is believed to spread through contact with body fluids. The government has asked the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital to open a special isolation ward for any future cases connected to the virus.



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