Nipah suspected in patient in Mangaluru, samples sent for test

Nipah virus

Mangaluru: More than a week after a 12-year-old boy succumbed to the Nipah virus in Kerala's Kozhikode district, a person being treated at a hospital here is suspected to have the infection and his samples have been sent for test.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra told reporters here Tuesday that it was only a suspected case, but cannot be neglected.

The person is a native of Karwar and is working at Goa in an RT-PCR test kit manufacturing unit, he said.

The DC said his samples are sent for test to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and the result is awaited.

The person's family members have been kept in isolation. The patient had not shown severe symptoms till the sample was sent for testing on Monday, he said.

The primary contacts of the person have been traced and detected. The district administrations of Udupi and Karwar are also alerted on the matter, Rajendra said.

A 12-year-old boy had died of Nipah virus infection in Kerala's Kozhikode on September 5. None of the tests done for the close contacts of the victim returned negative.

Nipah virus is spread by the saliva of the fruit bats.

Nipah Virus infection is a zoonotic illness that is transmitted to people from animals and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person to person, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As the WHO says there is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals. The primary treatment for humans is supportive care.

Fever, dizziness, headache, muscle pain, nausea, breathing complication and tonsillitis are the symptoms of NIV infection and its infection rate is relatively high.

Properly cleaning fruits before consuming, eating only well-cooked vegetables, keeping cowsheds and farms clean, use of gloves and masks during animal slaughtering and cooking meat, drinking boiled water, washing hands with soap and water time and again and using of mask in public are recommended as preventive measures against the virus.

According to the Ministry said, the fatality rate of NIV is 45 to 75 per cent. The WHO recognises NIV-caused illness as one of 10 deadly diseases in the world.  

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