NEW DELHI, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- An alert for Nipah virus has been issued in parts of India's Kerala after two "unnatural deaths" were reported from the southern state and four people were admitted to a government hospital, the state's health officials said on Tuesday.
According to the officials, the four suspected to have contracted Nipah virus included the wife and children of the person who was suspected to have succumbed to the disease on Monday.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that none of the patient's condition was critical, but appealed to the people in Kozhikode district to be on a high alert.
She added that health department officials were closely monitoring the situation.
"The results of samples which were sent to the Pune Virology Lab after suspecting the Nipah virus will be received by evening," said the minister.
According to the World Health Organization, Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and human. The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus. ■