The Indian state of Kerala was reported to be on high alert for the Nipah virus earlier this week following the recent death of a 12-year-old boy, all while the region—like many others around the globe—is still facing problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The boy, per a CBS News report from Arshad R. Zargar, was first admitted to a hospital due to a high fever. Suspecting brain inflammation amid worsening conditions, the child’s blood samples were sent off to the National Institute of Virology. The tests ultimately confirmed Nipah, with the boy confirmed to have died on Sunday.
By Monday, the state’s health minister said an estimated 188 people who came into contact with the boy had been identified, with 20 of them determined to be potentially “high-risk” contacts. As pointed out by the Associated Press, samples of eight primary contacts have come back negative. Meanwhile, two healthcare workers—per CBS—were showing symptoms of a Nipah infection on Monday. They have since been taken to a hospital.
Nipah, notably, is not connected to the coronavirus responsible for the worldwide pandemic that’s still in progress. But what is it, exactly?