Today, the Telangana government sent blood samples and throat swabs of two patients suffering from fever to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for testing as a precautionary measure to confirm whether it is a Nipah virus infection.
Ramesh Reddy, Director of Medical Education stated that one of the patient had gone on a trip to Kerala but not to Kozhikode where the disease is widespread. While the other patient, has not been to Kerala in recent times.
The patient, who had visited Kerala, was first admitted to a private hospital with fever and then was eventually shifted to Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Tropical and Communicable Diseases, while the other patient is undergoing treatment at Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences.
“We do not want to take any chances. Blood samples and throat swabs of both the patients have been sent to NIV-Pune for Nipah virus infection test. We also asked them to test for swine flu. We expect the result to come this evening or tomorrow,” Reddy said.
He further added that all important hospitals across the state have been asked to be on alert with regard to the virus.
According to a union health ministry advisory, the Nipah virus, which commonly affects animals such as bats, pigs, dogs, and horses, can spread to humans and cause serious illness among humans. Spread of the virus to humans may occur after close contact with other Nipah infected people, infected bats, or infected pigs.