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Is This Fruit Behind The Nipah Virus That Killed A 12-Year-Old Boy?

New Delhi: A 12-year-old boy died after being infected with the Nipah virus in Kerala’s Kozhikode on Sunday. Samples of eight people with minor symptoms and Rambutan fruits were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune for investigation.

A central team was sent to Kerala to support the state in public health measures. It visited the boy’s house and also collected the samples of Rambutan fruits from the nearby vicinity, as the family had suspected that the boy was infected with the virus after consuming the fruit, News18 reported.

251 people, believed to be primary contacts of the boy were identified and were closely monitored. The three-km radius from the boy’s house is now a containment zone.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Monday said there are chances that the 12-year old boy who succumbed to Nipah may have come in contact with more people. George, who met the media here, said the samples of seven people among the 20 high-risk contacts of the child have been sent to the Pune NIV for testing.

The parents had taken the child to a clinic first, then to a private hospital, then to the medical college and from there to another private hospital. 

The child developed fever on August 27 and was first admitted to a local clinic. Later, he was taken to a private hospital from where he was brought to the Medical College Hospital. However, he was shifted to another private hospital afterwards but died at 5 AM on Sunday. The Health Department has published the route map of the deceased child detailing the time and location where he had been since August 27. The government has also asked the public to approach the Health department in case of any symptoms related to Nipah.

The Minister had on Sunday said the two healthcare workers, who are among the 20 high-risk contacts of the deceased child, have been identified with symptoms of Nipah virus infection.