The National Institute of Virology, Pune, has confirmed antibodies against the Nipah virus in samples collected from bats in Kozhikode, Kerala Health Minister Veena George confirmed, suggesting that the virus indeed spread from bats to humans. The tests of two varieties of bats have indicated the presence of IgG antibodies against Nipah. The remaining samples are being tested, and their results are expected soon, the minister added.
The institute collected samples from different varieties of bats from Kozhikode after a 12-year-old was detected with the virus in the district on September 4. The patient succumbed to the virus on September 5. The Health Department in the state has been on high alert since. The boy's house was cordoned off for three kilometres around. House-to-house surveillance was conducted, and samples were tested.
The first Nipah outbreak in South India was recorded in Kozhikode in May 2018. By June 1, there were 17 deaths and 18 confirmed cases. It was contained and declared over by June 10, 2018,
In 2019 June, another case was identified in Kochi. The patient was a 23-year-old student who recovered later.
With the recent case, this is the third time the virus has been detected in Kerala.