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After Kerala boy dies of Nipah, symptoms found in others

“The samples of all eight persons who had developed symptoms till now are sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune. We are waiting for the result,”

Achuthanandan Kuniyil | Thiruvananthapuram |

A day after the death of the 12-year-old boy in Kerala’s Kozhikode due to the Nipah virus, the symptoms of Nipah virus were found on more people. On Monday, six more persons, including the mother of the boy who had died due to Nipah, have developed symptoms of the deadly disease.

By Sunday afternoon, authorities traced 188 people on his contact list, of whom two healthcare workers showed symptoms of the virus infection. On Monday, sixty-three more persons have been added to the primary contact list, taking the total to 251.

Among the contacts, 32 are classified as high-risk and have been shifted to the Nipah block of Kozhikode medical college hospital (KMCH). State health minister Veena George said that the samples of eight persons, among the 20 high-risk contacts identified so far, have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for testing.

“The samples of all eight persons who had developed symptoms till now are sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune. We are waiting for the result,” Veena George told media persons in Kozhikode  on Monday

“The most important job is to strengthen contact tracing. We are giving special training to our field workers. It is equally important to finding the source of infection. Whether this child is the first to get infected or if he is not, from where did he get infected? We traced 188 contacts yesterday. There can be more contacts. We are trying to locate everyone,”   the minister added

Meanwhile, the animal husbandry and forest departments had been roped in to source tracing at Pazhoor in Chathamangalam, the native place of the deceased. The area has fruit bats and wild boars hence its samples need to be collected and send for testing

The animal husbandry department will examine the swab sample of all animals at the boy’s residence. As a part of this, animal husbandry personnel had collected samples from two goats, which are reared at the house of the boy.. Days before the child developed the symptoms, the goat suffered digestion problems. Hence, it is suspected that the goat was infected with Nipah

In this connection, the team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),  suspects Rambutan fruit to be the likely source of the Nipah virus that has claimed one life of the boy. The team, which visited the house of the deceased boy, had collected the samples of Rambutan fruits from the nearby vicinity after the family told that the boy was infected with the virus after consuming the fruit.