Vastavam web: A 23-year-old college student here has been confirmed to be infected with the Nipah virus while 86 others are under medical observation, Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja Tuesday said. The results of blood samples of the student, which were tested at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, have confirmed Nipah, she said.
The result came this morning, she added. Earlier, blood samples examined at two virology institutes–Manipal Institute of Virology and Kerala Institute of Virology and Infectious Diseases–had indicated Nipah. Shailaja said the condition of the student, who is being treated at a private hospital here, is stable and he was not put under any support system like ventilator.
Out of the 86, two are suffering from fever and one has been shifted to the isolation ward set up at the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital here, she added. Two nurses, who had initially attended to the patient, complained of sore throat and fever and they are also under observation of the health department.
The Minister urged people not to panic and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. “We have confidence that we can face it. We have faced it in Kozhikode last year and contained it,” she said trying to instil confidence among people.
Appealing to social media users not to spread panic among the public, she said stringent action would be taken against those indulging in such acts. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has given an assurance that an anti-NiV drug developed in Australia would be provided to the state to deal with the disease, she noted.
Nipah virus can be transmitted to humans from animals (such as bats or pigs), or contaminated foods and can also be transmitted directly from human-to-human. Medical experts from Kozhikode have already reached Kochi and there were enough medicines and medical equipment to deal with the situation, she said.