Nipah virus returns to Kerala, 12-year-old boy dies in Kozhikode; central team rushed to state

By: |
September 05, 2021 10:14 AM

The presence of Nipah virus comes as Kerala struggles to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has ravaged the state in recent weeks.

Nipah virus carrier batNipah is a zoonotic virus that humans can contract from animals, including pigs and bats. (Photo credit: PRD, Govt of Kerala)

A 12-year-old boy suffering from Nipah virus died in Kozhikode on Sunday, Health Minister Veena George said.

The boy had been admitted to hospital on September 1 and his samples sent to the Pune National Institute of Virology, which confirmed the presence of the deadly virus, PTI reported.

George told reporters the boy died at 5 am on Sunday. His condition had become critical from Saturday night.

The government has formed teams and started tracing. The government has already taken steps to isolate the boy’s primary contacts, George said.

The presence of Nipah virus comes as Kerala struggles to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has ravaged the state in recent weeks. The Centre has already announced that a National Centre for Disease Control team will reach Kerala on Sunday and provide technical support.

Nipah is a zoonotic virus that humans can contract from animals, including pigs and bats. The virus is highly fatal and there is no treatment or vaccine yet.

George said the boy’s infection was confirmed on Saturday night.

The plasma, serum, and CSF samples were infected, George said. The boy was admitted with heavy fever, but his condition worsened on Saturday. George added none of the boy’s close contacts are showing any symptoms yet.

The Kerala Health Minister also assured residents and said the health department was following up on the situation. She added that the government had formed special teams and assigned special officers. The boy’s family members had first admitted him to a private hospital, then shifted him to the medical college, and again to a private hospital.

George said all his contacts had been traced. The health department had identified all his friends in his locality, cousins.

Neighbouring Kannur and Malappuram districts have also been asked to remain cautious. The last time Kerala reported a virus case was from Kochi in 2019.

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