At a time when the Covid pandemic is wreaking havoc in Kerala, a 12-year-old boy who was admitted to a hospital in Kerala's Kozhikode with symptoms of the Nipah virus has died. The Union Health Ministry later confirmed that the Nipah virus has been detected in Kozhikode district, and to monitor the containment measures, the Central Government has rushed a public health team to the southern state. 

Nipah virus returns

The detection of the Nipah virus in Kerala is a double blow to the state, as Kerala is already facing the rampage of the Covid pandemic. The state has been reporting almost 30,000 fresh Covid cases every day, and the daily test positivity rate (TPR) has been continuously over 17 percent in the last few weeks. 

Nipah virus
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Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that the boy died at around 05.00 AM today, and she made it clear that all necessary steps have been taken to trace the contacts of the boy. According to the latest updates, 17 people who were in contact with the boy have been placed under observation and will be subjected to testing. The Minister added that neighboring districts of Kannur and Malappuram have been also placed under high alert to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Pazhoor (ward 9) of Chathamangalam panchayat has been fully closed, while neighboring wards of Nayarkuzhy, Koolimad, Puthiyadam wards are currently partially closed. 

Kerala's haunting past

It was in 2018 that the Nipah virus wreaked havoc in Kerala. The outbreak was so deadly, and it claimed the lives of 17 people from the Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. 

It should be noted that Nipah is a zoonotic virus that will be transmitted to humans from animals like bats and pigs. Currently, there is no treatment protocol or vaccine for this infection, and the mortality rate of this infection is very high.