Nipah virus confirmed in bat sample collected from Kozhikode

by Health | 29-09-2021 | 237 views

Kozhikode: The Nipah virus has been confirmed in bat samples collected from Kozhikode.

“Antibodies of the Nipah Virus was found in sample collected from bats in the area where the infection was confirmed,” Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Wednesday.

“This has led us to the conclusion that bats are the source of the infection,” the Minister added. The presence of IGG antibodies were detected in the samples of two types of bats sent to the Pune Virology Institute. 

The Health department of the state had been on a high vigil since September 4 when a 12-year old child was found infected with the Nipah virus in Chathamangalam panchayat of Kozhikode district. The three-km-radius from his house was cordoned off and house-to-house surveillance was conducted and samples were tested. The child succumbed to infection on September 5 early morning.

Nipah had claimed seventeen lives in Kerala during its initial outbreak in 2018. Then it was suspected that mangoes bitten by fruit bats harbouring the deadly virus were the causative factor. The disease reappeared next year too.

Nipah is classified as a zoonotic disease, i.e., one that is spread by animals. Bats are often found to spread the Nipah virus. A person gets infected as one eats bat-infected fruit or comes in close contact with an infected person.

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