Following the boy’s death, 251 contacts have been traced so far
On September 5th, a 12 year old died of Nipah Virus in Kozhikode, Kerala. As many as 11 people who were in close contact with the child, including medical staff and close family members are showing symptoms of the Virus. Although their condition seems to be stable as of now, their blood and serum samples have been sent for testing. Currently the National Institute of Virology in Pune is doing these tests but a testing centre is to be set up at Kozhikode medical college to speed up testing. 251 contacts have also been traced and they are under observation for symptoms. The health department has cordoned off two-mile radius of the boy’s home, and are screening people for symptoms in all adjoining districts of Kerala state. Neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu has also been put on high alert. The Karnataka government has issued an advisory requesting people to avoid travel to Kerala till end of October.
The virus has been found to be zoonotic which means that it spreads to humans from animals. The boy who passed away was known to have eaten the Rambootan fruit from his backyard. The fruits eaten by animals such as bats and squirrels have been taken for testing to check for any presence of the virus. The blood samples of animals in the household have also been taken for testing to eliminate other possibilities. Kerala has alerted all farms to be on high alert for any sickness.