Nipah virus: First samples of animals test negative, strict action against fake messages

32 samples included blood and serum of goats, droppings of bats, serum of two bats

Published: 12th September 2021 06:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2021 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

NIV team catching bats at Kodiyathoor in Kozhikode | Express

By Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: In yet another setback to the efforts to trace the origin of Nipah virus infection which claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy here, the first round of samples of wild and domestic animals which were collected from the Nipah-affected Chathamangalam region were found negative. The samples were collected by the State Animal Husbandry Department for testing at the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal. 

District Animal Husbandry Officer Dr Rema Devi K said that 32 samples which included blood and serum of goats, droppings of bats, serum of two bats which were found dead and rambutan were sent to NIHSAD for RNA test as part of efforts to trace the source of virus. “We received the result on Saturday and all the samples  tested negative for virus genome”, she added. In the first round of sample collection, the department had collected samples of 23 goats in the region, droppings of bats from their habitats near the deceased boy’s house and fruits bitten by bats. It was based on the assumption that  fruit bats were the source of virus infection.  

However, the efforts of National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, are continuing. On Saturday, the team collected blood and swab samples of three live bats at Theyyathumkadavu near Kodiyathur. Last day, the team had collected samples of wild pigs. Further, blood samples of goats, fruits bitten by bats and droppings of bats were sent to Bhopal. Results of the samples are expected soon. 

District Collector N Tej Lohit Reddy warned of strict legal action against those who spread fake messages about Nipah virus spread. He took the stern stand following a fake message circulating on social media that Nipah was a creation of the health department and the boy did not die of Nipah.

In a major relief, 20 more samples that were sent for testing turned negative for Nipah virus. The samples of 18 people were tested at the specially set up lab at the Government Medical College in Kozhikode. Of these, two figured in the category of high-risk contacts. All these samples have tested negative for the virus,

Health Minister Veena George has said. As many as 108 samples have been tested till now and all the 108 samples have tested negative, she said.More tests will be held in the coming days. Those in the high-risk category and in the contact list who have tested negative are being kept under strict observation and if they show symptoms, tests will be carried out again.


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