New Delhi: A 23-year-old man admitted to a private hospital in Kerala’s Ernakulam has tested positive for the deadly Nipah virus, which killed 17 people last year, reports NDTV.
The National Institute of Virology tested the man’s blood samples and confirmed the virus.
The Kerala government has asked people not to panic. The 23-year-old studied in a college in Thodupuzha in Idukki and had stayed in Thrissur recently. According to Thrissur district medical officer, the student was in Thrissur for four days and had been suffering from fever.
Reportedly, four more people, including two nurses, are down with fever. Two of them had come in contact with the 23-year-old man. Over 80 people, among them 22 students, were put under surveillance on Monday.
Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans and then spreads through people to people contact. It is associated with fatal encephalitis and respiratory illness. In initial stages, it causes fever, headache, muscle pain, dizziness and nausea. There is no known vaccine against the virus.
According to the World Health Organisation, 18 Nipah cases were reported in Kerala last year; 17 of them died. The first death was reported on May 19, 2018. Since then, more than 2,600 contacts were identified and followed up with during the outbreak.
The last known outbreak in the subcontinent before Kerala last year was in 2004 in Bangladesh. The virus was first identified among pigs in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in 1998.