Antibodies against Nipah virus found in bat samples, says Kerala Health Minister

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Kerala Health Minister Veena George. (Photo/ANI)
Kerala Health Minister Veena George. (Photo/ANI)

Thiruvananthapuram (Karela) [India], September 30 (ANI): Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Wednesday said that the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune had informed the government about the presence of antibodies against the Nipah virus in the bat samples collected by them.

"NIV Pune informed us that they found antibodies against the Nipah virus from the samples of bats that they had collected from a particular place. ICMR is doing further studies on this," Veena George said.

Kerala reported its first death due to the Nipah virus on September 5 following which the Centre advised immediate public health measures for the state. A central team visited Kerala's Kozhikode district after the 12-year-old boy died after getting infected by Nipah and collected samples of Rambutan fruits from the nearby vicinity to identify the source of infection.

Veena George said the state government had gone for strict quarantine of people.

"We also did strict surveillance of 75,000 people from where the case was first reported. So it means that the child had received or the virus had transmitted from an animal or a fruit. ICMR is conducting a study on this so it is not the right time to finalise it," she said.

The Health Minister also said that the state had covered 91.9 per cent of its eligible population above 18 years of age with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the focus was now on fully vaccinating the population by giving them the second dose. (ANI)

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