10 confirmed dead from Nipah virus outbreak in India, including nurse treating patients

(CNN) – The death toll from an outbreak of Nipah virus has risen to 10 in India’s southern state of Kerala.

Nine patients that tested positive for the virus have been quarantined and are being treated, Rajeev Sadanandan, additional chief secretary for the state’s Department of Health and Family Welfare, told CNN on Tuesday.

The outbreak began in the northern district of Kozhikode and has spread to neighbouring Malappuram district, Sadanandan said.

Symptoms of Nipah virus can begin with headache and drowsiness but quickly transform into a coma within a matter of days, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other symptoms include acute respiratory syndrome — where the lungs cannot get enough oxygen to the body — and fatal encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

There is no vaccine, and treatment is limited to supportive care.

Among the dead was a nurse, identified as Lini, who was treating patients at Perambra Taluk Hospital in Kozhikode.

In a tweet, the office of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan posted his condolences to her family, writing that the nurse’s “selfless service will be remembered.”

The first cases were reported Saturday in a family from Kozhikode, and then India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the World Health Organization were contacted, Vijayan’s office said Monday via Twitter.

Two brothers in their late 20s and their aunt, 50, died from the virus, while their father, 56, remains on life support.