he Central Government has rushed a team of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kerala after the state reported a suspected death by Nipah Virus infection, the union health ministry said on Sunday.
“A suspected case of NIPAH, a 12 yr old boy who presented with features of encephalitis and myocarditis was reported on 3rd September, 2021 from Kozhikode district of Kerala. The boy was hospitalized and has passed away today morning,” the ministry informed.
The expert team will provide technical support to the state.
However, state Health Minister Veena George said that the samples of the boy, which were sent to the Pune National Institute of Virology, confirmed the presence of the Nipah virus.
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“Unfortunately, the boy passed away at 5 in the morning. The condition of the child was critical on Saturday night. We formed various teams and have started the tracing. Steps have been taken to isolate those who were the primary contacts of the boy,” she told the reporters.
The Centre has advised the state to initiate immediate public health measures to contain the virus spread.
“Active case search in the family, families, village and areas with similar topography (especially Malappuram); Active contact tracing (for any contacts) during past 12 days; Strict quarantine of the contacts and isolation of any suspects; Collection and transportation of samples for lab testing,” the measures noted.
The first Nipah virus disease outbreak in South India was reported from Kozhikode district of Kerala on May 19, 2018. It later spread to the Malappuram district.
The virus is spread by the saliva of fruit bats.