Kerala

Ernakulam declared Nipah-free after youth gets discharged from hospital

Health Minister K. Shylaja with a youth, who was discharged after successful treatment for Nipah at Aster Medicity Hospital near Kochi on Tuesday.

Health Minister K. Shylaja with a youth, who was discharged after successful treatment for Nipah at Aster Medicity Hospital near Kochi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Spl

The index case of Nipah virus this year, a 23-year-old youth from Vadakekkara, North Paravur, in Ernakulam was discharged after 54 days in hospital on Tuesday.

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja officially declared the district Nipah-free. “The chapter is closed on Nipah,” she said, addressing a gathering at a private hospital where the student from a Thodupuzha college had been admitted.

“The recurrence of Nipah this year too has made it important that we continue to be on the alert. With the lessons learnt from our Kozhikode experience in 2018, the fight against Nipah challenge here this time was a success as it was contained to a single positive case,” Ms. Shylaja said.

“The biggest challenge in fighting Nipah is that there is no vaccine or any proven drug. All we have is ribavirin, which is not yet a fully acknowledged medicine. It is to be used under strict protocols and permissions. The Indian Council of Medical Research had set a protocol for its use against Nipah,” she said.

Ms. Shylaja commended Aster Medcity on the vigil it maintained during the period of treatment of the Nipah patient.

338 quarantined

While 338 people were quarantined to check the spread of Nipah, there were no positive cases. The Minister also honoured the staff and doctors involved in treatment and care for the Nipah patient at Aster.

At the function, Azad Moopen, managing director, Aster Medcity, offered ₹50 lakh for the equipment required for Biosafety Level 3 virology institutes coming up in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 12:34:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ernakulam-declared-nipah-free/article28692917.ece

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