Odia youths taken ill upon arrival from Goa: Health Minister rules out Nipah virus

Bhubaneswar: With eight persons getting admitted to SCB medical in Cuttack after being afflicted by a ‘mysterious’ ailment upon arrival from Goa and subsequent return of 12 more persons from Goa yesterday triggering panic; Health Minister Pratap Jena today ruled out Nipah virus scare.

The minister said that is only a hearsay that the eight youths admitted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital are suffering from Nipah.

“Attack of Nipah virus is a rumour only. On the other hand, the State government is bearing their medical expenses,” Jena told media persons.

Earlier yesterday, the emergency officer of SCB medical had informed that no traces of dengue or swine flu were found in the blood samples of the hospitalised youths and their samples will be sent outside the state for further examination.

According to sources, the youths, who had gone to Goa, returned home, after two of their friends died of an unknown disease there.

“Two youths from the village had gone to Goa on July 3. But, they fell sick on July 6 and were hospitalised where they succumbed,” said Bapi Dalei, one of the youths who returned from Goa.

Chaitanya Jena, a resident of Nimatpur, said, “After two youths from the village died, I asked my elder son to return home from Goa.”

Yesterday, 12 more persons of Nimatpur village under Bhogarai block of Balasore district returned from Goa fearing unknown disease.