The expert team from National Virology Institute (NIV) who have been on a quest to find the source of Nipah outbreak once again in Kerala, is continuing to collect samples from bats. It is also being probed whether the Nipah patient could have contracted the virus by eating guava. On Wednesday, the team of experts visited North Paravur in Ernakulam district, the native place of Nipah patient, and arranged facilities to take samples from bats.
Two nets have been put up to capture bats at Vavakkad in North Paravur where many of them are sighted. One net has also been placed near the patient’s house adjacent to fruit-bearing trees. The expert team consists of eight officials from NIV Pune and Alappuzha. Samples will be taken from bats which will be caught in the nets by tomorrow.
The team had also collected samples similarly from Thodupuzha where the patient was staying during his studies.
Meanwhile, on news reports which claimed that eating guava infected with the virus was the reason behind the 23-year-old getting the infection, Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla clarified that this was yet to be confirmed. “The information that the patient might have eaten guava infected with the virus is only an indication among many others which the expert team has found. But we are yet to come to a conclusion regarding the same,” the Collector said while meeting media after core committee review meeting at the district collectorate in Kakkanad.
One more person was added to the contact list of the Nipah patient. With this, the total number of persons in the list has gone up to 330. The Collector told media that about 33 patients will be removed from the contact list of the patient on Thursday, as the stipulated observation time for these persons has finished.
The district administration is also checking the detailed information on deaths reported in the district in the month of May. Out of the 1689 death cases checked in a total of about 1798, no cases were reported with suspected Nipah characteristics.
Officials also confirmed that the condition of the Nipah patient has further improved. “He is now able to recollect things and talked to members of expert team,” the Collector said.