The Central government has rushed a public health team to the Kozhikode district of Kerala as the state reported the first death due to the Nipah virus, the Union Health Ministry informed on Sunday. To provide technical support to the state, a team of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been rushed to the state.

Kerala Health Minister, Veena George on Saturday said, “National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune has confirmed a sample of a 12-year-old boy from Kerala has turned Nipah positive. The patient passed away on Sunday morning.” The minister further added, “We had a meeting with the ministers from the district along with concerned officials about the Nipah virus. A team will be formed to handle the situation. We have initiated the contact tracing measures. I will be visiting Kozhikode on Sunday, where state Tourism Minister PA Mohammed Riyas will also join me.”

“As of now, there is no need to panic, but we need to exercise caution,” she added. “Till now, no one from the family or other contacts of the 12-year-old has any symptoms,” she said.

World Health Organisation said that Nipah Virus is caused by fruit bats and is potentially fatal to humans as well as animals. Along with respiratory illness, it is also known to cause fever, muscular pain, headache, fever, dizziness, and nausea.

The following immediate public health measures have been advised by the Centre: The Centre has advised immediate public health measures for the state of Kerala that includes: active case search in the family, families, village and areas with similar topography (especiallyMalappuram), active contact tracing (for any contacts) during the past 12 days.

It has calls for strict quarantine of the contacts and isolation of any suspects. Collection and transportation of samples for lab testing.

Earlier in 2018 also, there was a Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala.