2 Kerala health workers develop Nipah virus symptoms; one 12-year-old dead

The last rites of the 12-year-old boy was done following complete health protocol by the health department officials.

Kerala health minister Veena George on Sunday said that two more people were identified with symptoms of Nipah virus, news agency PTI reported. George said that the two are healthcare workers who were among the high-risk contacts of the 12-year-old boy who died from the disease on Sunday.

“We have identified 188 contacts till now. The surveillance team have marked 20 of them as high risk contacts. Two of these high risk contacts have symptoms. Both are health workers,” George was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. She further added that one of the health workers is employed at a private hospital while the other is a staff of Kozhikode Medical College hospital.

George added that the 20 high-risk contacts of the 12-year-old deceased will be shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College by Sunday evening. The other contacts of the deceased were told to remain in isolation in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. “The pay ward at the Medical College Hospital has been completely converted into a dedicated Nipah ward,” the Kerala health minister said.

The last rites of the 12-year-old boy was done following complete health protocol by the health department officials.

The National Institute of Virology, Pune, which tested the boy’s samples confirmed the presence of the virus earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the Centre rushed a team of experts to provide technical support to Kerala. A team of the National Centre for Disease Control will assist Kerala healthcare workers to stop the spread of the virus.

Nipah virus

The saliva of fruit bats spreads the Nipah virus. Bat-bitten fruits are considered to be a major spreader of the disease in humans. Humans can spread the disease to other humans through body fluids. Once infected the person will show symptoms like fever, headache and vomiting. Some patients may also have signs similar to people suffering from epilepsy. If the disease aggravates, unchecked the patient could become unconscious and brain fever could also trigger death. The case fatality rate of Nipah virus is 40-80%. The incubation period of Nipah is two weeks.

Nipah was detected first among farmers in Malaysia in 1999 when 60 people died in the outbreak. It was detected for the first time in India in Siliguri in 2001, when 45 people died due to the outbreak.

Hindustan Times

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