KOZHIKODE: A 12-year-old boy who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode has succumbed to the dreaded Nipah virus. He died at around 4.45 am today.
State health minister Veena George confirmed Nipah as the cause of death.
Speaking to the press in Thrissur, the health minister said there is no need to panic, and an action plan has already been put in place. "The contact tracing is on. All three results of the patient -- plasma, cerebrospinal fluid testing (CSF) and serum -- from the National Virology Institute, Pune tested positive for Nipah. No other contacts have any symptoms. Instructions have been given to neighbouring districts Kannur and Malappuram to stay alert," she said.
The health minister had convened a virtual meeting yesterday night and had made arrangements to set up a special Nipah ward at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH). PWD minister P A Muhammed Riyas and Forest minister A K Saseendran are in Kozhikode to coordinate activities.
The boy had recently recovered from Covid and was taken to the hospital after the fever didn't subside. He was said to have undergone treatment at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital before being admitted to the private hospital on September 1.
The boy was from Chooloor, near Chathamangalam, said sources.
He was admitted with brain fever and severe vomiting. Preliminary tests reportedly hinted at the possibility of Nipah.
Seventeen people had lost their lives following a Nipah outbreak in May, 2018.
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonotic disease (one which spreads from animals to humans) that spreads by the ingestion of human secretions/fluids. Fruit bats, a common species of the flying mammal abundantly found in India is the host animal for the disease-causing virus.