Kozhikode (Kerala), May 20 : Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Sunday said the cause of death of three members of a family here remains to be ascertained and urged people not to spread false news about a rare virus being responsible.
She also termed baseless and unconfirmed the messages on social media that the deaths of two brothers and their aunt in Perambara within a few weeks was due to the Nipah virus (NiV), spread by the fruit virus and causing severe disease in both animals and humans.
"The samples were first sent to a laboratory in Manipal and it suggested that it was a rare virus..after that for detailed tests, the samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune and the results are awaited.
Health officials are doing their job," Shailaja told media at Kochi.
The three seemed to be suffering from what seemed to be common fever but it aggravated quickly, leading to their deaths.
Two other members of the same family are now being treated at the Medical College hospital at Kozhikode, while six people from the same village who exhibited similar symptoms are now under medical observation.
Transmission of Nipah virus takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs, or from other NiV-infected people and people have been also cautioned that they should not consume fruits that have fallen on to the ground.