23-yr-old Kerala student tests positive for Nipah virus

23-yr-old Kerala student tests positive for Nipah virus

The patient has been under observation since he was admitted to the hospital in Kochi.

One case of Nipah virus infection has been confirmed in Kerala.

The National Institute of Virology in Pune has confirmed that a youth hailing from Kochi was infected with Nipah.

According to health department officials, the source of the fresh case of Nipah was not yet confirmed. However, as many as 86 persons hailing from various districts were kept under observations as they were in touch with the youth in Kochi who was confirmed to be infected. Four of them, including a nurse and two friends of the youth, were reported to have a slight fever.

ALSO READ | What is Nipah virus? All you need to know

Last year, 17 persons were killed in Kerala following the Nipah virus infection. Prior to that, Nipah virus infection cases were reported in the country in 2007 in West Bengal. The virus is spread mainly through fruit bat. The arrival of migratory birds could be also a chance for the spread of the virus.

The 23-year old youth hailing from North Paravur in Kerala had been suffering from fever and cough since the past two weeks. He was studying in Thodupuzha and went with a group of students for a training programme in Thrissur. Tests conducted at virology lab in Kerala had initially indicated chances of Nipah. It was further confirmed by the Pune laboratory.

Kerala health minister K K Shailaja, who is personally monitoring the health department’s efforts to contain the spread of the disease, said that there was no need for panic. The health department has acquired a high level of experience in dealing with the disease. It also got sufficient stock of medicines that were brought from Australia last year.

As a precaution, isolation wards were opened in all government medical colleges and all hospitals in Kerala were alerted to report any cases of patients with lasting fever and cough.

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