‘Samples of 17 close contacts of deceased have tested negative for Nipah’, says Kerala health minister
- The health minister said that of the 17 samples, five were tested at the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) while the rest were sent to a special laboratory set up at the Kozhikode Medical College.
The samples of 17 close contacts of the 12-year-old boy who succumbed to Nipah virus in Kerala’s Kozhikode have tested negative for the infection, state health minister Veena George said on Monday. George added that with the addition of the 17 samples, a total of 140 samples have tested negative for the virus so far.
“17 more people have tested negative for Nipah virus. Samples of a total of 140 people have been found negative,” George told reporters.
The minister said that of the 17 samples, five were tested at the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) while the rest were sent to a special laboratory set up at the Kozhikode Medical College.
A special laboratory was set up at the medical college on September 6, a day after the 12-year-old succumbed to the virus. George said the lab at Kozhikode has tested a total of 115 samples in six days. High risk contacts of the deceased have also been isolated in the Kozhikode medical college hospital and their condition is stable.
The Kerala government has undertaken a house-to-house survey within a 3km-radius of the house of the deceased. Around 15,000 houses were included in the containment zone and details were sought from around 68,000 people, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed last Friday.
State health authorities said earlier that they had very little information on the source of the virus but like earlier cases fruit bats were suspected to be the reason.
On Saturday, a team from Pune’s NIV had collected samples from fruit-eating bats to find the source of the Nipah Virus in Kozhikode.