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Deadly Nipah virus returns to Kerala, a 12-year-old dies in Kozhikode

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Kozhikode: The high fatality rate disease – estimated at 40% to 75% by WHO – Nipah virus (NiV), has once again emerged in Kerala killing a 12-year-old boy, who was admitted to a hospital in Kerala’s Kozhikode with symptoms of the virus.

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The boy, who hailed from Choolur in Chathamangalam panchayat, was admitted to the hospital on September 1. His samples, which were sent to the Pune National Institute of Virology, confirmed the presence of the Nipah virus.

The Central Government has rushed a team of the National Centre for Disease Control to Kerala. The team will provide technical support to the state. The state government also held a high-level meeting of health officials late Saturday night following the information about the Nipah infection.

Health Minister Veena George said that those in the primary contact list of the deceased don’t show any symptoms but are being monitored. “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,” the minister said. Neighbouring Kannur and Malappuram districts to remain cautious, George added.

Tourism Minister PA Muhammad Riyas also said that the government has prepared an action plan.

In the wake of the virus resurfacing in Kerala, the Centre has advised some immediate public health measures which include active case search in the family, village and areas with similar topography especially in Malappuram. The measures also include active contact tracing for any contacts in the past 12 days, strict quarantine of the contacts and isolation of any suspects and collection and transportation of samples for lab testing, the ministry said.

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