Sixth Case of Nipah Virus Confirmed in Kerala, Gov’t to Test Samples
The Indian state of Kerala experienced its first outbreak of Nipah virus in 2018, when at least 17 people died. Additional outbreaks happened in 2019 and 2021.
The total number of cases of Nipah virus swelled to six in India's Kerala state after a 39-year-old man in Kozhikode district was tested positive of it, State Health Minister Veena George’s office said on Friday.
According to media reports, the man is being treated at a private hospital where other infected patients have been treated for other ailments.
In Kerala this year, two lives have already been claimed by the zoonotic virus, a deadly pathogen that spreads from animals to humans. This marks the fourth occurrence of the outbreak since 2018. Zoonotic virus, which is transmitted between species from animals to humans, has already killed two people in Kerala this year, in its fourth outbreak since 2018.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to test samples from all those on the high risk contact list linked to the first Nipah patient.
The decision to test people's bodily fluid samples
was made after a high-level meeting between state and federal officials on Thursday.
State Health Minister Veena George, speaking to the media after the meeting, revealed that the state government officials initially held discussions with their federal counterparts, followed by a subsequent meeting between the Principal Secretary and the federal government officials.
George stated that they would be taking samples from all individuals who are on the high-risk contact list of the first person who passed away on August 30.
Additionally, she requested that hospitals dealing with patients infected with the Nipah virus establish a medical board and promptly send a medical report of each patient to the health department every 12 hours.
In addition, the minister inaugurated the mobile virology lab of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology
. This facility will be stationed in the Nipah containment zone
of the Kozhikode district, providing support in combating the virus.
The mobile virology lab has two machines that can test 96 samples at a time.
Following the Nipah outbreak, the District Collector of Kozhikode had announced that educational institutions would remain closed on September 16. Earlier, he had announced that they would be closed on 14 and 15 September.