Kerala student infected with Nipah Virus, Confirms Government

The 23-year-old Kerala student admitted in a private hospital in Kerala’s Ernakulam has been detected positive for the deadly Nipah virus, which killed 17 people in the state, last year. According to Thrissur district medical officer the student was in Thrissur for four days and was suffering from fever. The reports say that officials are on the search for the places where the patient visited in the past days. According to Harsh Vardhan who is in touch with the Health Minister said, “The centre will send monoclonal antibody (medicines) to Kerala. Everything that needs to be done in a scientific manner has been initiated. Nothing to panic.” He added that the wildlife department has been told to catch bats to test presence of the Nipah virus.


The medicine sourced from Australia for the treatment of Nipah is only available with National Institute of Virology. The medicine is said as a preventive medicine for people who were exposed to the Hendra virus in Australia. This virus mainly infects fruit bats and can be passed onto other animals and people. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailja said, “We have confidence that we can face it. We have faced it in Kozhikode last year and contained it.” However, she says that the outbreak of this virus is not known so far.


The special team has been reached out to Kerala to extend their help to fight from the virus. Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans and then spreads through people to people contact. It leads to fatal encephalitis and respiratory illness which in initial stages causes fever, headache, muscle pain, headache, dizziness and nausea. So far, there is no known vaccine against this virus. For the precautions, isolation wards have been set up in Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode.


According to World Health Organization, total 18 Nipah virus cases had been registered in Kerala last year, 17 died out of them. The first death was reported on May 19, 2018.  The last outbreak in the subcontinent before Kerala is said to be in Bangladesh that came up in 2004. The identification of virus was first done in 1999 when farmers and others in close contact with pigs got infected in Kerala. More than 100 people died that year in the outbreak and about a million pigs were killed to halt the spread. However, so far so long no proper vaccine has been discovered or made that leads total curement of this virus. Virus is quite infectious but measures are being taken.

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