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Soldier from Kerala dies of suspected Nipah virus infection in Kolkata

Body fluids of the soldier has been sent to Indian Institute of Virology in Pune to verify whether he was infected with the deadly Nipah virus.

india Updated: May 30, 2018 17:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Nipah virus,Soldier,Kerala
Security staff being given instructions by the head after the outbreak of Nipah virus at Medical College in Kozhikode on May 26, 2018. (PTI File Photo)

A soldier, who had recently been to Kerala, died in Kolkata of suspected Nipah virus infection on May 25, a defence spokesman said.

Sheenu Prasad, a native of Kerala, was posted at Fort William in Kolkata and had been on a month’s leave to his home town before rejoining duty on May 13. He was admitted to Command Hospital on May 20. The body was cremated on May 28.

The Nipah virus has claimed 14 lives in Kerala.

The Eastern Command headquarters said on Wednesday that body fluids of the soldier had been sent to Indian Institute of Virology in Pune to verify whether he was infected with the deadly Nipah virus.

“Till such time the test report is received it cannot be confirmed whether Nipah virus caused the death,” said wing commander SS Birdi, spokesperson, Eastern Command.

Nipah virus that causes high fever, headache and coma in extreme cases is spread by fruit bats. Body fluids can cause human-to-human transmission of Nipah, which has a mortality rate of 70% and has no vaccine.

But blood and serum samples of bats collected from the affected areas turned negative and health experts are trying hard to pinpoint the main carriers of the virus.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: May 30, 2018 16:19 IST