The samples of 17 more persons, who were in the contact list of the child who succumbed to Nipah virus last week, have tested negative, state Health Minister Veena George said on Monday. The minister said of the 17 results, five were tested at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and the rest at the special lab set up at the Kozhikode Medical College. "Currently, the samples of 140 close contacts have tested negative," the minister said in a release.
The minister said in the special lab set up at the medical college, a total of 115 samples were tested within six days. The lab was set up on September 6, a day after the 12-year-old boy succumbed to Nipah on September 5, the minister said. Veena George had said that it was important to identify the source of infection and the surveillance team from Pune NIV has been collecting samples from various parts.
The minister said that the high risk contacts have been isolated in the Kozhikode MCH and their health condition is stable. The state government had conducted a complete house-to-house survey within a three-km-radius from the house of the boy who succumbed to Nipah virus as part of fever surveillance. The government had earlier said that in the survey, around 15,000 houses were included from the containment zone and details were sought from around 68,000 people.
This is the third time Kerala is reporting the Nipah virus. In the first outbreak in 2018, 17 people lost their lives to the virus. In the following year, though Nipah was detected in a 23-year-old youth in Ernakulam district, he recovered from the disease. No one else also got infected from the index person.The third instance was on September 5 this year, when a 12-year-old boy in Kozhikode district died due to the disease. So far no one has been found to have contracted the virus from the deceased child.