Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the increase in the death toll.
The state government of Kerala confirmed on Tuesday that 10 people in the state had died from high fever from the Nipah virus.
Reports suggest that more people in the state may have been infected by the virus.
The state has been put on red alert and authorities have taken samples from those who have the symptoms of the virus and have sent it for tests.
According to a report in Indian Express, a of specialists from the National Centre for Disease-Control, National Institute of Virology and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme have been sent to Kerala by the Centre to take stock of the situation.
The Nipah Virus, also known as NiV, that is transferred to humans from fruit bats.
IANS reported that the state government has sanctioned an emergency fund of Rs 20 lakh to the Kozhikode Medical College.
The report also quoted Union Health Minister JP Nadda as saying, "We are closely monitoring the situation. I have also dispatched a Central team to assist the state government and initiate required steps.
The CMO also tweeted saying the government was keeping a close watch of the situation:
CM Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that Government is closely monitoring the spread of the Nipah virus. Health department is doing everything possible to save the lives of the infected & prevent the advance of virus.— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) May 21, 2018
Health minister & Labour minister have camped at the district to lead the efforts. Private hospitals have been instructed to not deny treatment for anyone suffering from fever. An expert medical team of the Union government has arrived on the request of the State Government.— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) May 21, 2018
Though the virus has been reported only in Kozhikode, a statewide alert has been given to remain vigilant. A 24-hour control room has been opened to monitor the situation. CM has also requested all to follow the instructions of the health department to tackle this crisis.— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) May 21, 2018
According to the World Health Organisation:
NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis. NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care.
WHO says that the first outbreak of the virus was recorded in 1998 in Malaysia's Kampung Sungai Nipah, after which the virus has been named. This outbreak happened from human contact with pigs that were the hosts of this virus.
Bangladesh saw an outbreak in 2004 after people consumed date pal sap contaminated by fruit bats.
The WHO says that there is also documented evidence of human to human contamination.