‘No virus was found in bats caught from well’

Tests done on insectivorous bats caught near victim’s house

May 25, 2018 11:39 pm | Updated May 26, 2018 03:58 pm IST - Kozhikode

Kozhikode, Kerala, 21/05/2018;Bat experts securing a bat procured from a well near Sooppikkada to test if the bats were indeed responsible for the Nipah viral infection in Changaroth on Monday.Photo:K_Ragesh

Kozhikode, Kerala, 21/05/2018;Bat experts securing a bat procured from a well near Sooppikkada to test if the bats were indeed responsible for the Nipah viral infection in Changaroth on Monday.Photo:K_Ragesh

Presence of Nipah virus has not been confirmed in the body fluid samples of the insectivorous bats found on the premises of the house bought by V. Moosa of Chengaroth, near Perambra in Kozhikode, who succumbed to the infection on Thursday.

N.N. Sasi, Director, Animal Husbandry, told The Hindu on Friday that samples of cattle, pig, and insectivorous bats had been sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, to check the presence of the virus. “Research till date has shown that only fruit-eating bats are the carriers of Nipah virus. However, we wanted to check if insectivorous bats too have turned out to be the carriers of late. Residents had suspected that the source of the infection could be the bats found in the well on the premises,” he said.

There was suspicion that Mohammed Sabith, who first fell victim to the viral infection, had contracted it while cleaning the well. “We did not want to take a chance and also wished to clear the doubts among people,” he said.

Mr. Sasi said a team from the Departments of Animal Husbandry and Forests would visit the village on Saturday to check if there were any fruit-eating bats in the area. A team from the National Institute of Virology, Pune, too would be present.

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