The Union government has said that a team from the National Centre for Disease Control has been rushed to Kerala in view of the re-emergence of the Nipah virus.

Health workers in white PPE kits standing at the entrance of a hall near the windowsImage for representation
news Nipah Virus Sunday, September 05, 2021 - 08:40

A 12-year-old boy has died due to Nipah virus infection at a hospital in Kerala’s Kozhikode, state Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday. The samples of the boy, which were sent to the Pune National Institute of Virology, confirmed the presence of Nipah virus. The 12-year-old boy who succumbed reportedly had brain fever, in addition to other symptoms of the disease such as high temperature and vomiting. There are also reports that he had COVID-19. The state informed the Union government of the case late Sunday night. 

"Unfortunately, the boy passed away at 5 in the morning. The condition of the child was critical yesterday night. We formed various teams yesterday night and have started the tracing. Steps have been taken to isolate those who are the primary contact of the boy," Health Minister Veena George told the media. 

In a statement issued on Sunday morning, the Union government said that the 12-year-old boy had reported symptoms of encephalitis and myocarditis when he had been admitted to hospital on September 3. The boy was hospitalised and passed away on Sunday morning. 

In view of the re-emergence of the Nipah virus in the state, the Union government has rushed a team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kerala, which will be reaching on Sunday later in the day. The team will provide technical support to the State, the Union government said. 

The Union government release added that Kerala has been advised to conduct an active case search within the boy’s family, as well as the village and areas with similar topography (especially in Malappuram). Kerala has also been asked to conduct active contact tracing for any contacts that the boy may have met in the past 12 days. There should be strict quarantine of the contacts and isolation of any suspects, the Union government had said. 

It may be recalled that in 2018 also, there was a deadly Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala. The first Nipah virus disease (NiV) outbreak in South India was reported from Kozhikode district of Kerala on May 19, 2018. The virus is spread by the saliva of fruit bats. There have been 17 deaths and 18 confirmed cases as of June 1, 2018. However, when a second outbreak happened a year later, the state was able to contain it without reporting any deaths.

Also read: Nipah virus in Kerala: All you need to know about symptoms and precautions

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