Experts from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, have collected samples from fruit bats at Thodupuzha in Kerala’s Idukki district as part of their investigation to ascertain the source of Nipah virus. One case of Nipah infection was confirmed in the state last week.
The youth, who tested positive for the virus, stayed at Thodupuzha where he was studying.
Official sources said the NIV team led by Dr Sudeep has collected samples from 52 fruit bats found near the house where the youth stayed. The samples, collected with the help of the state forest officials, would be sent to the NIV for examination. The expert team would also collect samples from fruit bats found at Paravur in Ernakulam district, the hometown of the patient.
Meanwhile, the health condition of the youth, now at a private hospital in Kochi, has improved considerably. Of the three samples collected from him to review his health condition, two tested negative. At present, eight persons are under observation at the isolation ward of a medical college in Kochi.
Although the fear of another Nipah outbreak has largely subsided, as many as 329 persons, who are in the contact list of the youth who tested positive are still under home quarantine. They include doctors and paramedical staff who initially treated the youth and his close relatives and friends.
Ernakulam district collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla said 52 people out of the 329 have been put into the high-risk category.