National Institute of Virology (NIV) has ruled out Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in a 63-year-old patient, Rafia Inayat, from Mangalore. NIV scientists who received the sputum sample from Mangalore Wednesday conducted the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and confirmed the patient did not suffer from MERS.
Till late Thursday, scientists were processing the sample. “The patient has influenza B (Yamagata lineage) infection,” NIV director Dr D T Mourya said.
Experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, also said the woman, hospitalised in Mangalore, was not suffering from MERS. “From the symptoms, it is a case of influenza,” they said.
To be on the safe side, a sputum sample was sent to NIV. Dr M S Chadda, deputy director of NIV, said the PCR test is being performed and it will take a day to confirm whether the sample is positive for MERS or not.
According to NCDC experts, samples have been sent to both NIV and Manipal Centre for Virology and Research. The report from the latter shows the woman has not been infected by the corona virus, they said. Results of the NIV report also showed that the illness caused by corona virus, called MERS-CoV, was not
In Mangalore, district health officer H S Shivakumar said the threat was unfounded and the test results had been negative for the The woman from Mangalore had gone on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia on May 11 and returned on May 22. Two days later, she developed fever, cold and cough. “Given the recent guidelines announced by the Karnataka’s Health Minister and the patient’s travel history, the doctor asked her to get admitted… However, the results came back negative,” Shivakumar said.
MERS-CoV is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. People infected develop severe acute respiratory illness — fever, cough and shortness of breath. This virus spreads through close contact.