Nipah cases detected belong to Bangladesh strain: Minister

The Minister said the Nipah cases detected here belonged to the Bangladesh strain, which was comparatively less infectious but had a high mortality rate of 70%. Contact tracing and containment efforts were on.

September 13, 2023 06:59 pm | Updated 07:32 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Nipah virus, newly emerging zoonotic infection with acute respiratory syndrome and severe encephalitis, 3D illustration

Nipah virus, newly emerging zoonotic infection with acute respiratory syndrome and severe encephalitis, 3D illustration

Following the confirmation of Nipah infection as the cause of deaths of two persons in Kozhikode district, the State government has stepped up contact tracing and isolation procedures to prevent further spread of the virus, Health Minister Veena George told the Assembly on Wednesday.

A team from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, would arrive in Kerala by evening and set up a mobile Nipah testing lab at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, while another team would carry out a bat survey.

Another team of epidemiologists from Chennai would also arrive in the State during the day to carry out studies. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)‘s supply of Monoclonal antibodies, to treat those tested positive for Nipah, would be brought to the State by a flight.

The Minister said a case of unnatural fever-related death at a private hospital in Kozhikode and the detection of similar symptoms in relatives prompted the Health department to carry out sample tests. The samples were tested at the Biosafety Level (BSL) 2 lab at the Kozhikode Medical College, following which Nipah was detected. At present, such test facilities were available in Kozhikode as well as at the Virology Institute at Thonnakkal.

However, as per the ICMR’s protocols, the confirmation had to be done from the NIV lab in Pune, which is of BSL4 standards, following which the Nipah outbreak was declared. The index case was the person who died at the private hospital on August 30. However, since he had other serious conditions, including liver cirrhosis, the possibility of Nipah was not suspected.

She said the Nipah cases detected here belonged to the Bangladesh strain, which was comparatively less infectious but had a high mortality rate of 70%. Contact tracing and containment efforts were on.

Route maps of the Nipah-affected had already been published on Wednesday. Seventy-five rooms had been arranged at the Kozhikode Medical College for isolation purposes. Steps had been taken to provide psychological support to those under isolation, Ms. George said.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.