The samples of eight people who came in contact with a 12-year-old boy who died of Nipah virus infection in Kerala has returned negative, state Health Minister Veena George said today. The samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.
“It’s a big relief the samples turned out negative,” the Health Minister said. This include the boy’s parents and healthcare workers who treated him. It has given a clear indications that the Nipah virus infection in Kozhikode is currently under control.
Five more samples are being tested at Kozhikode Medical College’s laboratory, which comes under the NIV. “We are waiting for those five results too,” she said. The health department had identified the above mentioned 13 close contacts in the last two days. It also prepared a list of 251 persons who might have come in contact with the deceased boy. Of this, 54 persons, including 30 health workers, have been included in the high-risk category. 48 more high-risk contacts are admitted at Kozhikode Medical College – 31 are from Kozhikode, four from Wayanad, eight from Malappuram and one from Palakkad. Based on the list, 38 persons have been shifted to isolation wards at the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital. The sample-testing for these are likely to be completed today, Ms George said. Nipah virus infection in humans causes a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The case fatality rate is estimated at 40 per cent to 75 per cent, and this rate can vary by outbreak depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management, WHO says.