Kerala Health Minister K. K. Shailaja on Tuesday confirmed that the youth being treated in a hospital near Kochi has tested positive for Nipah virus (NiV).
She also assured the people that elaborate arrangements have been made to tackle the situation and there was no need for panic
"The test results have come from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and it is positive for Nipah. The health authorities have made elaborate arrangements and the medicines for this are also in stock and NIV authorities will be handing over the medicines that have come from Australia," said Shailaja.
She added that Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had already pledged full support from the Centre.
The youth is a student who first sought treatment at two private hospitals in Thrissur, where he had gone for student internship.
"In the past two days, the health authorities have prepared a list of 86 people who have come in contact with this youth and are under observation. Of these 86 people, two have fever and one of them is being kept in isolation. Also, two nurses have fever and are under observation," said Shailaja.
"The condition of the youth is stable. He is now out of any sort of support and is fine," added the Minister.
Shailaja asked people to be careful about picking fruits as bats have been identified as a carrier of this virus.
She also said that any mischief to create panic on social media would be dealt with strictly.
The sample of the youth was first tested at the Virology Institute at Allapuzha and, after it was confirmed positive, the final confirmation came from NIV, Pune.
"From now on, there would be a high alert and three samples (blood, urine and throat) from every person who shows symptoms of Nipah will be taken and sent to NIV Alappuzha, Pune and Manipal Laboratory," said State Health Secretary Rajan Khorbagade.
He said that experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research were in constant touch with health authorities in the state.
In May last year, a Nipah (NiV) virus attack claimed 12 lives, with 22 positive cases reported from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts that created a huge scare.
The Kerala government has brought in a special team of medical professionals and administrators who successfully helped combat the previous outbreak in Kozhikode. They will be helping the medical professionals in Kochi on how to go about handling the fresh outbreak.
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