12-yr-old boy dies of Nipah virus in Kerala 2 health workers showing symptoms isolated
Health workers bury the body of a 12-year-old Nipah virus victim in Kozhikode on Sunday. (PTI)
A 12-YEAR-OLD boy died due to Nipah virus infection at a hospital here, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday. The samples of the boy, which were sent to the Pune National Institute of Virology, confirmed the presence of Nipah virus. The Central Government has rushed a team of the National Centre for Disease Control to the State. The team will provide technical support to the State. Nipah virus is spread by saliva of the fruit bats. Giving details of the case, the Minister told reporters, “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”.
The boy was laid to rest at nearby Kannambarath Khabaristan by the health department officials after following complete health protocol. The Minister said the infection was confirmed by the Pune NIV on Saturday night. “Three samples-- plasma, CSF and serum-- were found infected. He was admitted to the hospital with a heavy fever four days ago. But on Saturday, his condition became worse. We had sent his samples for testing the day before yesterday,” the Minister said. Two more people have been identified with symptoms of Nipah virus infection, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said. The two are among the 20 high risk contacts of the deceased 12-year-old child, she said. “We have identified 188 contacts till now.
The surveillance team have marked 20 of them as high risk contacts. Two of these high risk contacts have symptoms. Both are health workers. One works with a private hospital, while the other is a staff member of Kozhikode Medical College hospital,” she told reporters after chairing a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation. She said all the 20 high risk contacts will be shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College by evening, while other contacts of the child have been asked to remain in isolation. The Minister also asked the neighbouring Kannur and Malappuram districts to remain cautious. Police have cordoned off an area of three km radius around the house of the boy. In the wake of the virus resurfacing in Kerala, the Centre has advised some immediate public health measures which include active case search in the family, village and areas with similar topography especially in Malappuram.
The measures also include active contact tracing for any contacts in the past 12 days, strict quarantine of the contacts and isolation of any suspects and collection and transportation of samples for lab testing, the Ministry said. The first Nipah virus disease outbreak in South India was reported from Kozhikode district of Kerala on May 19, 2018. There have been 17 deaths and 18 confirmed cases as of June 1, 2018.