A 20-year-old man travelling from Kerala to Goa’s capital Panaji is under observation at the Goa Medical College and Hospital in Bambolim after he developed symptoms similar to those who have the Nipah infection, PTI reported. His blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune to be tested.
“The patient was travelling alone on a train from Kerala but took ill when he reached Thivim railway station in Goa this morning,” Chief Surveillance Officer Dr Utkarsh Betodkar, Directorate of Health Services, said. “The patient is not quarantined. He has been kept in isolation as a precautionary measure.”
Betodkar said the results of the patient’s blood tests would be available by Tuesday evening. “No advisory has been issued by the state government about the virus.” the doctor said.
The state health minister, Vishwajit Rane, said every measure was being taken to ensure that the patient stays in isolation till the test results are received. “It is not clear yet whether it is a Nipah case,” The Hindu quoted Rane as saying. “The person admitted himself to the hospital, after he felt he had some symptoms similar to those affected by Nipah and he has been kept in the isolation ward at the GMC.”
So far the Nipah virus has killed 13 people in Kerala. At least 175 people, including family members of those who have tested positive, are under observation. The virus can be transferred from animals to humans. It causes fever and cold-like symptoms, before quickly advancing to encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. There is no vaccine or cure for Nipah infection at present.