Nipah death toll rises to 16, but end of outbreak might be near

Attendants wear masks as a precautionary measure against the Nipah virus as they help a patient at the Government Medical College hospital in Kozhikode, in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

(CNN)The death toll from the outbreak of Nipah virus has risen to 16 in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

More than 230 people have been tested for the virus, with 18 confirmed by state officials to have contracted it, according to Kerala's Department of Health and Family Welfare.
All 18 people were hospitalized and quarantined and the last two are currently in recovery.
    "The other two are alive and kicking. Their blood is totally clear of the Nipah virus," said Rajeev Sadanandan, additional chief secretary for the state's Department of Health and Family Welfare.
    The recovering patients are still in quarantine and are able to speak to their family over the phone. A final set of tests is being conducted to ensure there is no trace of infection.
    The state is close to declaring that the infection has been cleared, said Sadanandan.
    As Nipah virus spread is suspected, government to compensate victims