Kerala: Huge relief as all 8 close contacts of Nipah victim test negativetext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: The samples of eight of those who came in contact with the twelve-year-old who died of Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala, returned negative, state minister of health Veena George said on Tuesday.
Minister expressed her relief on receiving the negative results. The samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. Five more samples are under test at Kozhikode Medical College, where a testing facility for the virus has been erected with NIV's assistance.
Minister informed that 48 high-risk contacts are admitted in Kozhikode Medical College, including the tested eight. Thirty-one are from the district, four from Wayanad, eight from Malappuram and one from Palakkad. The sample testing of the rest are expected to be completed on Tuesday, she said.
A team from National Centre for Disease Control is providing support to the state.
According to the World Health organisation (WHO), Nipah virus infection could be asymptomatic and symptomatic. The latter would cause acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis.
The case fatality rate is estimated from 40 per cent to 75 per cent, which might vary by outbreak depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management. The virus could be transmitted from animals, such as bats, pigs, to humans. It could spread through contaminated foods and also from the human to human.
According to the WHO website, fruit bats are the natural host of the Nipah virus. There are no cure, treatment or vaccine available for humans nor animals but supportive care.
The first outbreak of Nipah in South India was reported in Kozhikode in May 2018.