Nipah virus: Health officials step up vigil

The Health authorities in the district are on the alert in the wake of the Nipah virus infection that has claimed nine lives so far.

The district administration had taken steps to bring together doctors in the public and private sectors to take measures to contain the spread of the disease, said District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla in statement. He also held discussions with all department heads in the district.

There is no casue for panic, and no Nipah cases have been reported from the district so far. However, there could be chances of patients being brought to the city for advanced treatment. The Health and hospital authorities have been asked to make arrangements for the same.

A suspected case from Kozhikode admitted to a private hospital in the city has tested negative for the Nipah virus. A statement from the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences said that Atifa, 19, tested negative for the virus. She was brought here from a private hospital in Kozhikode.

District Medical Officer N.K. Kuttappan said the World Health Organisation guidelines were being followed. According to the guidelines, the spread of the disease has to be prevented by breaking the chain of transmission. Caregivers have to be on alert as they risk the danger of contracting the disease. They should use protective gear such as gloves and masks while taking care of patients, and should wash their hands with soap. Those infected have to be kept in isolation.

Social media campaigns

The District Collector has warned against social media campaigns that are triggering panic among the public. Mr. Safirulla said doctors and hospitals should help the relatives of patients understand facts and help reduce the panic created by social media.

Basically, Nipah virus spreads from animals to animals. It spreads to humans from bats or pigs. The disease also spreads from humans to humans.

People should take steps to prevent food items and drinks from coming into contact with bats, bat faeces or urine that could contain the virus. The virus could also spread through bat-bitten fruits. Fever, cough, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and blurred vision are some of the symptoms of the virus.

The District Collector has ordered that patients visiting hospitals with suspected infection of the rare virus should be treated in isolation. He has instructed hospital authorities to immediately report any such case to the administration.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:11:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/nipah-virus-health-officials-step-up-vigil/article23954268.ece

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