In southern India’s Kerala state, there is a Nipah virus outbreak, a rare and potentially life-threatening disease that has resulted in two individuals affected. To prevent its spread, schools are closed, and extensive testing is being carried out. The state’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, has confirmed the virus in the Kozhikode district and is urging caution and adherence to guidelines. This marks the fourth outbreak in the state since 2018, and Vijayan is advising residents to approach the situation calmly without giving in to fear.

The Nipah virus can pass from animals to humans. It can also spread through contaminated food or direct contact. It leads to various symptoms, from mild to severe, starting with headaches and drowsiness. In serious cases, it can lead to a critical condition. It can also cause breathing problems and brain inflammation. There’s no vaccine yet, and treatment is limited. In Kerala, over 700 close contacts have been found, with 77 considered high-risk. Some schools in Kozhikode are closed, and seven villages are restricted. In 2018, Kerala faced a major Nipah outbreak, with 17 individuals affected. The virus was first found in Malaysia in 1998–1999, leading to significant pig culling. It is mostly transmitted from infected pigs, but human-to-human transmission, especially among caregivers, has been seen. The Nipah virus is a major concern for the World Health Organization, needing urgent research.