An official from the National Institute of Virology reported on Tuesday that India had confirmed two deaths as a result of the Nipah virus in the state of Kerala.
The virology officer, who wished to remain unnamed, stated that two people passed away this month—one on August 15 and the other on August 30.
The source stated that samples from two more members of the same family had been sent for testing after they were suspected of being infected. The official also stated that the federal health ministry had received the report from the virology institution.
First discovered in 1999 after an infection outbreak affecting pig farmers and others in close contact with pigs in Malaysia and Singapore, the lethal brain-damaging Nipah virus is spread to humans through direct contact with infected bats, pigs, or other people.
In Kerala in 2018, a Nipah outbreak claimed the lives of 17 individuals. Since then, the disease has returned several times, most recently in 2021. The virus has no known cures or vaccines.
The official from the virology institute stated that mass testing would start in the region where the most recent cases were discovered and that quarantine measures had been implemented.