Kozhikode: The Nipah virus has so far claimed 10 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts in north Kerala while the condition of two persons undergoing treatment for the viral disease is said to be critical, Health Minister K K Shylaja said on Tuesday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been informed about the outbreak of the virus in Kerala, she told reporters here on Tuesday.
Two persons-- Rajan and Ashokan, who were undergoing treatment at Kozhikode, died on Tuesday morning, have been confirmed to have contracted the virus, she said.
A nursing assistant, Lini, who died on Monday had also contracted the virus, she added.
Of the 18 samples sent for testing, 12 have tested posit0ive for the virus, of which 10 people have died.
Two deaths reported on May 20 from Malappuram-- Sindhu and Sijitha, have tested positive for Nipah virus.
The two had come to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital for treatment and had been in touch with one of the infected persons who had died of the virus, the minister said.
No fresh case has been reported so far, she said adding the WHO has been informed.
Shyalaja said Union Health Minister, J P Nadda, who is in Geneva, had called her and enquired about the situation in the state and has promised all help from the central government.
An expert team from the National Centre for Disease -Control (NCDC), including its director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh and Head of Epidemiology, Dr S K Jain, are already in Kerala.
A high-level team from AIMS has also reached the state, she said.