Bats found dead at two places in Kottayam, authorities rule out risk

Bats found dead at two places in Kottayam, authorities rule out risk

Kottayam: Amid concerns over the renewed threat of Nipah virus which is likely spread by bats one was found dead in Changanassery in Kottayam district. Earlier, two bats were found dead in Peruva in the northern part of the same district.

The bats found unconscious in a bucket at Peruva were not the type that spread Nipah, Kottayam district veterinary officer Dr Shaji Panikkassery said.

"Two teams have visited the spot and sent the carcass for testing. These bats are known as Naricheer in local parlance and cannot spread the Nipah virus. These do not have vision during daytime. Only one type of bat is the carrier of Nipah," Dr Shaji explained.

The bats were found in a bucket that had chikoo fruits (sapota). These have been handed over to the forest department officials at Erumely. The forest department and veterinary surgeon carried out checks.

In Changanassery the dead bat was found dead in an area overrun by wilderness in the fifth ward of the Municipality. A bat was found dead at this place the other day too. The carcasses have been sent for testing to the lab.

Elsamma Job, the Chairperson of the standing health committee of the civic body, allayed fears over the finds.

“We will check if anyone in the area has health issues,” she said.

A few days ago a teenager had died of Nipah virus infection in Kozhikode. This was the first case reported in Kerala after the dreaded disease struck first in 2018, claiming over a dozen lives.

Fruit bats are suspected to be carriers of the Nipah virus.  

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