Kozhikode: The death of three people of a family here in the past two weeks, reportedly due to 'Nipah' virus, has put the Kerala state health department on high alert.
State Health Minister KK Shylaja on Sunday said the nature of the virus was yet to be ascertained.
"The kind of virus that caused the disease has not been ascertained. Blood and other samples of the deceased have been sent to the National Virology Institute, Pune. The results will be made available in a few days ", she told reporters here. after chairing a meet of top health department officials.
A district-level special task force, headed by Kozhikode District collector, UV Jose has been formed in the wake of the deaths due to this virus, official sources said.
The Director of Health service, Kerala, Dr RL Sarita, took the decision to form the task force after the meeting.
A single window system has been put in place to monitor emergency treatment to meet any eventuality, they said.
While a 50-year-old lady died at a private hospital Changarothu in the district yesterday, her male relatives, aged 25 and 23, died on May 18 and May 5.
Dr Sarita told reporters that the deaths occurred due to a rare virus and that the health department has taken all preventive measures.
"We need to ascertain which type of virus caused the deaths. Many viruses are zoonotic types and some can be transmitted through bats", she said....