Kerala youth admitted to hospital with Nipah-like symptoms

The 23-year-old patient has been moved to an isolation ward in a private hospital after he displayed symptoms of viral infection, said Ernakulam district medical officer Dr M K Kuttappan.
A suspected case of Nipah virus has been reported from Ernakulam district of Kerala. An outbreak of Nipah claimed 17 lives in Kerala last year.(AP Photo)
A suspected case of Nipah virus has been reported from Ernakulam district of Kerala. An outbreak of Nipah claimed 17 lives in Kerala last year.(AP Photo)
Updated on Jun 02, 2019 04:56 PM IST
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Thiruvananthapuram | By

A suspected case of Nipah virus has been reported from Ernakulam district of Kerala. An outbreak of Nipah claimed 17 lives in Kerala last year.

The 23-year-old patient has been moved to an isolation ward in a private hospital after he displayed symptoms of viral infection, said Ernakulam district medical officer Dr M K Kuttappan.

He said blood samples were sent to two virology institutes for tests—Manipal Virology Institute and Kerala Institute of Virology and Infectious Diseases—and there was no need for any panic. The results are likely to be in by Monday.

Kuttappan said they were alerted about the incident on Saturday night. “It is not confirmed but initial symptoms show similarities to Nipah. The man’s relatives said he had gone to the neighbouring district for a training programme and has been down with fever for than 10 days,” he said.

The 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.

Kuttapan said many suspected cases were reported earlier too and they tested negative. Health minister K K Shailaja and other senior officers are closely monitoring the situation.

In May 2018, Nipah outbreak had claimed 17 lives, including that of a nurse who treated one of the patients. Though the deadly virus claimed many lives in a span of few days, health officials and volunteers in Kerala took the fight head on and contained the outbreak.

A team of dedicated medical staff, well-oiled health machinery and effective monitoring by the bureaucracy and political leadership helped Kerala win its battle against Nipah.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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