Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans.
The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.
A bat was found in the well of their house which has now been closed, the minister said.
A nursing assistant, Lini, who had treated three infected persons, died this morning.
However, it is yet to be confirmed if she had contracted the virus, which spreads through bats.
Five more people have died due to high fever and similar symptoms of the virus here and in neighbouring Malappuram district.
However, it is yet to be confirmed if their deaths was caused by the virus, health department sources said.
Health minister Shylaja and Labour minister, T P Ramakrishnan, who hails from Kozhikode, held discussions with officials and assured that the government had taken all necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus, which has affected the state for the first time.
A high level team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has already arrived in Kozhikode district to take stock of the situation.
The state has been put on high alert and two control rooms have also been opened here.
The minister said there was no need to panic as the virus spreads only through direct contact with the infected person.
"We have listed the persons who have got in touch with the patients. They have been isolated as precautionary measure," she said.
The minister said peripheral hospitals in the vicinity of Medical college have been asked to set up isolation wards and if they have patients with symptoms of the virus, they should be directed to the medical college.
NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia during 1998. Then, pigs were the intermediate hosts.
However, in subsequent NiV outbreaks, there were no intermediate hosts.
In Bangladesh in 2004, humans became infected with NiV as a result of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.