A twelve year-old boy has died on Sunday due to Nipah virus infection at a hospital in Kerala, said state Health Minister Beema George.
His samples were sent to the Pune National Institute of Virology, where the presence of Nipah virus was confirmed.
Soon after the news the centre has rushed team of National Centre for Disease Control to the state to provide technical support.
The Nipah virus is spread by fruit bats’ saliva
“Unfortunately, the boy passed away at 5 in the morning. The condition of the child was critical on Saturday night. We formed various teams and have started the tracing. Steps have been taken to isolate those who were the primary contacts of the boy,” the Health Minister told media.
The virus was confirmed by the Pune NIV on Saturday night, he told.
“Three samples– plasma, CSF and serum– were found infected. He was admitted to the hospital with a heavy fever four days ago. But on Saturday, his condition became worse. We had sent his samples for testing the day before yesterday,” said Mr George.
The minister also said that none of the boy’s contacts are showing any symptoms related to the infection and that the health department has already traced all the boy’s contacts.
“There is nothing to worry about. The health department is closely following up the situation. Special officers have been posted and special teams were formed. The patient was first taken to a private hospital, then to the medical college and from there again shifted to a private hospital. So we have traced all his contacts. The friends he played with in his locality, his cousins and others, the health department had completed the identification and tracing of all these contacts,” the minister said.
He also asked the neighbouring Malappuram and Kannur districts to remain cautious.
Sources from the hospital told that the boy will be cremated today following all the health guidelines.
The police has deployed security wiithin the radius of three km around the boy’s house to prevent access.
As the virus again resurfacing, the Centre has asked for immediate public health measures including active case search in the family, village and areas with similar topography especially in Malappuram.
The other measures include contact tracing for last 12 days, strict quarantine of the contacts with suspects’ compulsory isolation and collection and transportation of samples for testing, said the ministry.
The first case of this Nipah virus in South India was reported on May 19, 2018 in Kozhikode district of Kerala. There had been 18 confirmed cases and 17 fatalities from this virus by June , 2018.