Nipah returns to Kerala, 12 year old boy dies

A 12-year-old boy died on Sunday morning from Nipah virus infection after undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode district of Kerala.

The samples had been sent to the lab of the National Institute of Virology in Pune and they have confirmed presence of the virus.

The last time the Nipah virus was reported in Kerala was in 2019 in Kochi. In 2018, an outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts had claimed 17 lives.

Nipah virus, which spreads fast and has a reported death rate of 70 percent, can infect both humans and animals, particularly pigs. There is no vaccine available for it.

A high-level meeting of the health department was held late on Saturday night over the case of the virus that had an outbreak in 2018 and claimed a number of deaths in the state, MediaOne TV reported.

“An action plan has been prepared, we have the experience of 2018 in front of us. There’s no cause for uncertainty, we had a late-night meeting with the health minister and we have discussed everything that needs to be done,” Tourism Minister PA Muhammad Riyas said.

The Union health ministry is also rushing a team to Kozhikode.

Already reeling under an unrelenting spread of COVID-19, report of the deadly Nipah virus death has only added to the southern state’s worries.

The boy’s relatives and all those who treated him have been put under quarantine.

Health minister Veena George said that the primary contact list of the deceased has been prepared and that none of them show any symptoms but are being monitored.