KOCHI: The worse fears on the resurfacing of the Nipah disease in Kerala seem to be coming true with the state health minister KK Shailaja on Monday saying that the youngster, who was admitted to a private hospital in Kochi, is suspected to have contracted the deadly virus.
The 23-year-old man from Vadakkekara grama panchayat in Ernakulam district has been admitted to the isolation ward of the private hospital after he showed symptoms of Nipah.
District medical officer Dr M K Kuttappan said a high-level medical team is meeting in Kochi. “We can confirm Nipah only after the meeting,” he said.
Speaking in Thiruvananthapuram, Shailaja said it was a suspected case of Nipah. The Minister is likely to reach Ernakulam by afternoon, it is learnt.
The virus, which first broke out in northern parts of Kerala in 2018, had claimed 18 lives.
Officials said samples have been sent to Manipal Institute of Virology and Kerala State Institute of Virology and Infectious Diseases (KSIVID) in Alappuzha.
Sources at the Ernakulam district administration said no confirmation has been received from the labs yet. “Only after getting the report from the labs we will be able to comment. The information will be passed to the media either way,” said a top officer on the condition of anonimity.
Meanwhile, Ernakulam District Collector is conducting a meeting with the health officials to make precautionary arrangements if Nipah is confirmed. “It’s true that an isolation ward has been set up at the Kalamassery Medical College. The meeting is mainly to discuss the arrangements,” he told Express.
DMO Kuttappan said the youth, who had gone for an internship at Keltron in Thrissur, returned home after he fell sick. The fever persisted for more than 10 days and some of the symptoms were of Nipah. He is now being taken care of in an isolated ward of the private hospital.