Nipah virus returns to Kerala, India, killing 12-year-old

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Sept. 6 (UPI) — For the third time in four years, Kerala, India, has confirmed the presence of the highly deadly Nipah virus.

A 12-year-old boy died in Kerala’s Kozhikode district from the virus while the state struggles to deal with COVID-19. A total of 188 contacts have been put in quarantine, many of them healthcare workers in various Kozhikode hospitals.

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The boy was admitted to the hospital a week ago with a high fever. As his condition worsened, blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology which confirmed the infection.

Officials say the source of the infection remains to be seen. The virus travels from bats to humans and other animals such as dogs and horses.

The Nipah virus claimed 17 lives in 2018 when an outbreak occurred. It was discovered that a 27-year-old man caught the infection from fruit bats. Another case was reported in 2019 but no lives were lost.

Around 25,000 COVID-19 cases are being detected daily in the Indian state.