Kolkata: Army sends dead soldier’s body fluids for Nipah virus test
Army sends dead soldier’s body fluids for Nipah virus test
Doctors and relatives wearing protective gear carry the body of a victim, who lost his battle against the brain-damaging Nipah virus, during his funeral at a burial ground in Kozhikode, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, India, May 24, 2018.
The army has sent samples of a 27-year-old soldier’s body fluids to Pune’s National Institute of Virology to ascertain whether he died of Nipah virus infection on Friday. Seenu Prasad died 12 days after he returned to duty at Kolkata’s eastern command headquarters after a month-long stay in Kerala, where a Nipah virus infection outbreak has killed 12 people.
“His (Prasad)’s body fluids have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, which is the only agency in the country to certify whether it was a case of Nipah virus (infection) or not,’’ said eastern command spokesman Wing Commander S S Birdi. “Till a report from the NIV in Pune is received, it cannot be confirmed whether it was a case of nipah virus or not.”
Prasad, who was from Kerala’s Palakkad, died five days after he was admitted to Alipore’s Command hospital on May 20. He was cremated on Monday (May 28). Officials in Kerala said that no one by Seenu Prasad’s name had been admitted to any hospital in Kozhikode, which has taken the brunt of the outbreak.
Health officers were verifying if Prasad had been admitted to any other hospital in Kerala. Earlier this month, the West Bengal government had ruled out any Nipah virus infection cases in the state. It has now put hospitals on high alert in view of Prasad’s death.
Officials said messages have been sent to government and private hospitals to report back to Swastha Bhavan (state health department office) immediately if they come across any suspected case of Nipah virus infection. “… nodal officers will take information from their respective facilities about such cases and travel history of patients to and from affected areas within the last 21 days. Currently areas around Kozhikode and Mallapuram district in Kerala are facing Nepah virus infection outbreak. Unusual pattern must be reviewed,’’ a health department advisory said.