Kerala in panic as doubts of Nipah virus strike again
In a development that returns the images of Kerala's worst health crisis — the Nipah virus outbreak in 2018 — one person admitted in an Ernakulam (Kochi) hospital ten days ago tested positive in initial results, health minister K. K. Shylaja said. The disease is not yet confirmed, she added, as the government is awaiting confirmation from a Pune-based virology institute.

The news has triggered panic in the state, where the virus — which has a mortality rate of 70% and has no vaccine and can spread through human-to-human transmission — claimed 17 lives last year, including a nurse who treated one of the patients.

The health minister who appeared before the press on Monday gave a sense that the state is bracing to tackle any emergency health crisis. She admitted that she had not met reporters in cases related to similar symptoms previously, initially suspected to be those of Nipah but which turned out to be negative in final results.

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