A 23-year-old man admitted in a private hospital in Kochi's Ernakulam has been tested positive of Nipah virus, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja confirmed on Tuesday morning. The samples of the man were sent to the Pune Virology Institute, which found the presence of the deadly virus in his blood. The minister said that there was no need to panic as all the precautionary measures were put into place from the time Nipah virus was suspected.
"The confirmation came in today morning. But there is no need to panic. From the time we suspected this was Nipah, we have put all measures into place," Shailaja said in a statement.
On Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the government was closely monitoring the situation and asked people to follow the instructions of the health department.
Last year, the deadly Nipah virus had claimed 17 lives -- 14 in Kozhikode and three in neighbouring Malappuram district. The state government had said that 16 people picked the virus from 1st victim.
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.