A 23- year old male student has been infected with Nipah Virus in Kerala's Ernakulam district. The serum samples of the student were sent for "further tests" to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, confirmed health minister of Kerala, KK Shailaja.
The minister while addressing a press conference in Kochi added that the government had received the test results earlier today which confirmed the zoonotic virus infection. He said that the "government has taken all precautionary measures" to prevent the spread of the infection.
As per reports, the 23-year old patient, who is a native of Paravur town in Ernakulam district is stable now and is taken off the support system. Meanwhile, "four people, including two nurses who have been in contact with the index patient at the hospital have fever and are being monitored", reported The Indian Express. Though their condition is not said to be "serious", one of them has reportedly been shifted to the isolation ward.
Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus infection (i.e., it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food. Fruit bats are considered to be the natural carriers of the virus. Last year, the virus was reported in Kerala's Kozhikode and Malappuram district, leading to a total of 17 deaths.
(Edited by: Nehal Solanki)