Nipah virus in Kerala: State’s Health Minister KK Shailaja on Tuesday morning confirmed that the youth being treated at a private hospital in Ernakulam has tested positive for Nipah virus. The result of test was confirmed by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology.
“The results of blood samples of the student, which were tested at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, have confirmed Nipah. The result came this morning. The student has been admitted to a private hospital,” she told reporters.
The 23-year-old was admitted to a hospital Ernakulam last week after showing symptoms of Nipah virus. Reports say that he had traveled with a group of 22 students from Idukki to Thrissur for some work. When he went back to his house, he was suffering from high fever with no signs of abating. He was then admitted to a private hospital in Ernakulam. Doctors collected blood samples and sent it to Pune for confirmation of Nipah.
Shailaja also assured that elaborate arrangement is in place to deal with the situation and made an appeal to the public not to panic.
On Monday, Shailaja had informed that 86 people are under surveillance and that the government is fully equipped to deal with any situation. She said that a special isolation ward has been set up at Ernakulam Medical College in Kochi.
Kerala reported 17 deaths due to Nipah virus in 2018. While 14 deaths were reported from Kozhikode, three died in Malappuram.
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a disease that first broke out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998. It was first seen in domestic pigs. The virus can also affect other domestic animals like, dogs, cats, sheep and goats. The virus can be transmitted to humans by coming in close contact with these animals.