'Nipah antibodies detected in two varieties of bats'

Nipah antibodies detected in two varieties of bats, says Kerala Health Minister Veena George

With this year's reporting of a case, it is the fifth time the virus has been detected in India and the third in Kerala

Representative Image. Credit: Getty Images

Putting an end to the mystery over the source of Nipah infection in Kerala, antibodies against Nipah were found in specimen collected from some fruit bats from the Chathamangalam region of Kozhikode in Kerala where one child died due to the infection.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Wednesday that antibodies against Nipah virus were detected in the samples of two varieties of bats tested at the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

After a 12-year-old boy died of Nipah at Kozhikode on September 5, a team from NIV as well as various other agencies had come down to Chathamangalam panchayat on the outskirts of the city and collected specimen from various types of fruit bats, apart from some other animals and birds. Presence of IgG antibodies against Nipah were found in some bats from two varieties.

Though several persons in the contact list of the boy had shown some symptoms, none tested positive for Nipah.

Even as there was a Nipah outbreak in Kerala in 2018 claiming 17 lives and one case was reported in 2019, the exact source of the infection could not be ascertained then.

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