One Nipah Case Reported From Kerala This Year, No Deaths: Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said a total of 50 suspects were identified and all of them tested negative for Nipah.

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One Nipah Case Reported From Kerala This Year, No Deaths: Harsh Vardhan

So far this year no death has been reported due to Nipah infection in Kerala, the Union minister said.


New Delhi: 

Only one case of Nipah virus has been reported so far this year from Kerala's Ernakulum district and the patient has been discharged, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Lok Sabha on Friday. 

The case was reported in the first week of June, he said. 

Mr Vardhan said a total of 50 suspects were identified and all of them tested negative for Nipah. 

A total of 330 contacts are being followed up on a daily basis and no new case has been reported, he said.

Immediately after the outbreak, the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune deputed special teams to collect samples from Pteropus or fruit bats, which are the main reservoir for the Nipah virus disease, the minister told the Lower House of Parliament. 

"Out of 36 Pteropus species bats tested for Nipah, 12 (33 per cent) were found to be positive for anti-Nipah bat IgG antibodies," he said.

The health minister said during the 2018 Nipah outbreak in Kerala, 52 Pteropus giganteus bats were collected and 10 samples (19 per cent) were found positive for Nipah by Real Time qRT-PCR' lab testing technique.

"Human Nipah virus infection is an emerging zoonotic disease in which the virus is transmitted to humans from infected bats, pigs and other animals. Nipah virus outbreak in India has been reported from two states till now -- West Bengal (2001, 2007) and Kerala (2018 and now in 2019).

"In 2001, there were 66 cases and 45 deaths due to Nipah virus in Siliguri. In 2007, five deaths and five cases were reported from Nadia in West Bengl. In 2018, 17 deaths and 19 cases were reported from Kozhikode and Malappuram in Kerala.

"This year, so far, no fatality has been reported due to Nipah infection in Kerala," Mr Vardhan said.

In response to a question, the Union minister said according to the information received from the Ministry of External Affairs, no screening for Nipah Virus is required for issuance of Indian visas to persons coming from Bangladesh and Malaysia. 



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