Nipah scare in West Bengal, soldier dies of suspected virus infection in Kolkata

30 May 2018, 04:02 PM

A soldier in West Bengal's capital Kolkata died of suspected Nipah virus infection, which has claimed 14 lives in south Kerala.

The soldier named Seenu Prasad, a resident of Kerala, had shown the symptoms of Nipah virus and was admitted to hospital on May 20. He died on Sunday and cremated a day after his death, according to a report published in NDTV. 

However, it was not yet confirmed that Parsad died of Nipah Virus infection and his samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.

Currently, NIV-Pune is the only medical institute in the country where Nipah virus infection tests are being carried out.

The deadly Nipah virus first broke out in Kerala’s Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. So far, the virus has claimed 14 lives in the state.

The latest death was of a 20-year-old man in Kozhikode, who breathed his last on May 27. He was being treated at Baby Memorial Hospital in the Kozhikode.

What is Nipah Virus?

Nipah virus is a new emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Also known as NiV, the Nipah virus is an acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis which is found in horses, pigs, fruit bats and humans.

The Virus was named after the Malaysian village Kampung Sungai Nipah, where it was first discovered in pigs in 1998. The NiV is related to the Hendra Virus and is caused by an RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus.

First Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 03:29 PM
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