The Nipah virus has reared its ugly head in Kerala again as a 12-year-boy succumbed, who was admitted to a private hospital in Kozhikode, succumbed to it. The state's Health Minister confirmed the death of a 12-year-old boy who was admitted to a private hospital with Nipah virus infection.
"The results of tests done at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune on all three samples – Plasma, CSF (Cerebrospinal fluid) and Serum – came positive for Nipah virus late Saturday night," said George. She added the child passed away at 5 am on Sunday, September 5. Meanwhile, the Centre has rushed a team to Kerala to support the state in its public health measures.
Precautionary Measures Undertaken
George confirmed that all primary contacts of the boy have been identified and measures have been taken to isolate them. So far, none of them have exhibited any symptoms, she added. The child had been suffering from fever and other symptoms for the past few days and his condition deteriorated on Saturday, August 4. Seventeen people, who came in contact with the child, are under isolation, said health department officials.
George also added that a special ward will be set up at the Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode to tackle any more potential Nipah cases. An alert has been issued in the neighboring districts of Kannur and Malappuram. The minister said that there is no need to panic.
Kerala's Tryst With Nipah
In 2018, the state witnessed an outbreak of the virus. It claimed 17 lives. It was the first such recorded outbreak in south India and the third such outbreak in India. The first recorded outbreak in India was in the year 2001 in Siliguri, West Bengal. It claimed nearly 45 lives. In 2007, there was an outbreak of the virus in Nadia, West Bengal.
In 2019, Nipah reappeared in the Ernakulam district. However, the infection was contained to just the lone index case, who survived the infection. The first documented appearance of the virus was in Malaysia in 1998.