CHENNAI: A 52-year-old man admitted to Jipmer, Puducherry, with symptoms of Nipah infection has tested negative for the virus. The man, a resident of Cuddalore and working in Guruvayoor, was first admitted to Cuddalore government hospital with high fever and severe respiratory problems. (it was earlier reported that the man was from Ernakulam, and was in Puducherry for a vacation). He was directed to Jipmer after he showed symptoms of Nipah infection. He was diagnosed with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome(AES), which can result from several causative agents, including Nipah virus.
He was placed in an isolation ward and his blood samples were sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune for testing.
Speaking about the patient's condition, Dr K.Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said," The lab results have returned negative for Nipah infection.
However, the causative virus for the patient's infection has not been tracked yet and we've classified the cause of infection under the undiagnosable category."
He says the patient remains under intensive care and is still under ventilator support.
Meanwhile, the health department officials from Cuddalore are in the process of tracing people who had come in contact with the 52-year-old man from Cuddalore before he reached his house on Saturday.
He reached Cuddalore on a bus on Saturday and took an autorickshaw to reach home. If the test results were positive, they would have been tracked down and tested for Nipah infection.
The state government has taken several precautionary measures to prevent a Nipah outbreak in Tamil Nadu. Isolation wards have been set up in hospitals across the state.
Border teams were formed to screen people entering the state from the bordering regions in the districts of Tirunelveli, Theni, Kanyakumari,Coimbatore and Dindukal.
Fever surveillance report from all private and government hospitals are also being monitored by a control room 24/7.