A 12-year-old boy died of the Nipah virus in Kozhikode district of Kerala early on Sunday. He was admitted to a private hospital for treatment. His condition worsened on Saturday, following which he succumbed to the virus at 5 am on Sunday.
On September 3, the boy’s condition was first reported as a suspected Nipah virus case. He showed symptoms of encephalitis and myocarditis.
The National Institute of Virology in Pune has confirmed that the sample from Kerala tested positive for the virus.
Kerala health minister Veena George said the 12-year-old boy had been admitted to a private hospital first, then brought to a medical college and finally taken back to the private hospital.
VEENA GEORGE TO VISIT KOZHIKODE
Veena George added, “Yesterday we had a meeting with ministers from the district along with concerned officials. We have decided to form teams to handle the situation. Contact tracing and other measures have already been initiated. We posted special officers.”
The health minister will visit Kozhikode. She will be joined by Kerala minister PA Mohammed Riyas.
“As of now, there is no need to panic, but we need to exercise caution. At the moment, nobody from the family or other contacts have any symptoms,” Veena George said.
CENTRE RUSHES TEAM TO KERALA
The central government has rushed a team of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kerala to provide technical support. The team will reach on Sunday.
The following immediate public health measures have been advised by the Centre,
1. Active case search in the families, village and areas with similar topography (especially Malappuram)
2. Active contact tracing of the past 12 days
3. Strict quarantine of the contacts and isolation of any suspects
4. Collection and transportation of samples for lab testing
WHAT IS NIPAH VIRUS?
Nipah is a zoonotic virus i.e. it spreads from animals to humans. The Nipah virus is transmitted from the saliva of flying foxes (fruit bats) to animals and humans. Generally it affects animals like pigs, dogs, horses, among others. If spread among humans, Nipah virus can cause serious illness which may result in death.
In 2018, there was a Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala.