The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is investigating a sample from a man in Kerala who is suspected to be carrying the Nipah virus. NCDC authorities have told The Indian Express that the sample is being investigated and there has been no confirmation so far.
A young man from Ernakulam district in Kerala, who has been suffering from fever for the last 10 days, has been admitted to a private hospital and kept under isolation, Kerala health authorities have said. Samples have been sent to a private laboratory at Bengaluru — National Institute of Virology and Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratory at Manipal.
At the Indian Council of Medical Research, highly placed officials have said they will be able to give a correct picture by Monday. “We are waiting to receive the sample and test it,” the official said.
Nipah virus infection is an emerging zoonotic disease of public health importance in the WHO South East Asia region with a high case fatality rate estimated to range between 40 and 75 per cent. It was first recognised in 1998-99 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore. The virus can be transmitted to humans from animals (such as bats or pigs). Fruit bats are the natural host of the virus.
Meanwhile, Ernakulam district officials have rejected social media reports claiming that a Nipah virus case had been confirmed.
In a statement, Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla has said such reports are baseless and there was no need for concern.
If the disease is confirmed, it will be officially conveyed to the public and necessary precautions will be taken to control its spread, the Collector said, and appealed to all to desist from spreading panic.
Last year, a Nipah outbreak in Kerala claimed 17 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
Sources from the Kerala health department said a positive sign in the man from Ernakulam is that he does not have respiratory symptoms of being affected with the virus.
(With PTI inputs)