New Delhi: The Kerala government on Tuesday confirmed a case of Nipah virus, days after speculation was rife that the disease may return to haunt again.

Confirming one case, Kerala health minister KK Shailaja today said, “One person from Kochi’s Ernakulam was tested positive in the results that came from Pune Virology Institute.”

According to reports, a 23-year-old engineering graduate, who had been moved to an isolation ward in Ernakulam, has tested positive for the brain-damaging Nipah virus.

In addition, KK Shailaja said, “Out of 86 patients suspected, two were admitted. Two nurses who treated the patient now have sore throat & fever… Sample of the second patient will be sent to NIV Alappuzha, Manipal Laboratory & NIV Pune.”

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “I have assured the Kerala Health Minister of all possible support from the Central Govt. We are also in touch with the wildlife department to seek their help for subjecting the bats for testing of the virus. I don’t think there is any need to panic.”

The Kerala government had for some days now trying to allay fears of a Nipah virus outbreak redux with reports emerging that as many a 86 people are suspected to be infected.

Earlier on Monday, Shailja in a press conference had said that blood tests were awaited for people and all 86 ‘suspected’ to be inflicted with Nipah have been moved to a surveillance area.

She had added, ” The government is fully equipped to deal with the situation. Special isolation ward set up at Ernakulam Medical College, Kochi.”

Last May, the Nipah (NiV) virus attack took away 12 lives, with 22 positive cases reported from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.