High alert after three deaths due to fever

Minister holds meeting with senior officials to take stock of Perambra situation

Updated - May 22, 2018 09:34 pm IST

Published - May 19, 2018 09:06 pm IST - Kozhikode

The Health Department is on high alert in the district after the death of three members of a family at Perambra due to fever over the past fortnight.

Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan, who is the Minister in charge of the district, held meetings with senior officials on Saturday to take stock of the situation.

Sources in the department said that Mohammed Sadik, 26, Mohammed Salih, 28, who are brothers, and Mariyam, 50, their paternal aunt, of Panthirikkara Sooppikkada in Changaroth grama panchayat, near Perambra, died on May 5, May 18, and May 19, due to viral encephalitis with myocarditis. Moosa, 55, father of Salih and Sadik, and Atifa, 19, Salih's fiancée, are undergoing treatment at private hospitals in Kozhikode and Kochi.

A staff nurse at a cooperative hospital at Perambra and another relative who participated in the funeral ceremonies too are undergoing treatment.

Blood samples of the deceased have been sent to the virology lab at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, and results are awaited.

The medical officer in the local health care unit has been asked to prepare a list of those who closely interacted with the deceased and keep them under observation. Local residents have been asked not to consume fruits half consumed by birds. Acute encephalitis cases should be referred to the Government Medical College Hosptial, Kozhikode.

Awareness programmes

Screening of migrant labourers, reduction of sources causing viral diseases and awareness programmes would be intensified, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister's office urged people not to get carried away by the rumours flying thick and fast in the social media that the dead were suspected to have been infected with Nipah virus.

The messages being spread claim that the presence of the virus had been observed in areas such as Kuttiyadi, Kadiyangadu, and Perambra.

Some people are also circulating the description of Nipah virus infection from the website of the World Health Organisation. Sources in the Health Minister’s office told The Hindu that there was no reason to panic and the officials were keeping a vigil.

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