A Kerala-based man, who was kept under observation at a hospital in Goa after showing symptoms of Nipah virus, has tested negative for the deadly infection. The blood samples of the patient, sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, have come out negative for the virus, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said today. “The tests of the patient’s samples by molecular and serological methods are negative for Nipah,” Rane added.
The man, who was passing through Goa in a train and heading to Uttar Pradesh, had fallen unconscious at the coastal state’s Thivim railway station on Monday, following which he was admitted to the state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
The patient initially showed symptoms of the Nipah virus because of which he was kept in the isolation ward of GMCH, located near here in the North Goa district. The virus has so far claimed 13 lives in Kerala.
The outbreak of the Nipah virus infection, a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well at Perambra in Kerala’s Kozhikode district which was infested with bats.
The natural host of the virus is believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus. So far there is no vaccine against the virus, which was first identified in 1998 at Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia.