Kerala Health Minister Veena George
Thiruvananthapuram: Virologists have identified bats as the source of Nipah virus, which led to the death of a 12-year-old boy in Chathamangalam, Kozhikode, on September 5. Confirming this, Health Minister Veena George said that the sample collected by NIV, Pune confirmed that bats were the source of the virus.
“The bat sample collected from Pazoor of Chathamangalam gram panchayat contains antibodies to the virus. This was confirmed in tests conducted at the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Now we can infer that bats were the source of the virus,” said George.
However, she said that this is just a guess, and more tests are to be done to confirm the result. Reports of 50 more samples are yet to come. Currently, it has been found that antibodies to the virus were found in a bat belonging to the genus Pteropus collected from Thamarasseri and some species belonging to the genus Rositas collected from the Kodiatahur region.
The bat samples were collected from around the victim’s house by experts from the Pune Institute and the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, in collaboration with wildlife veterinarians from the Forest Department.
The incubation period of Nipah virus is 21 days. However, no new case has come to light during this period. Hence it can be said that the situation is under control. All the preventive steps taken have helped in controlling the disease and avoiding the possibility of new cases.