Nipah is confirmed, precautions in place

The suspected case of Nipah infection admitted to the Government Medical College in Ernakulam.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Nearly a year after a Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram, the deadly disease has resurfaced in Kerala with the confirmation of the infection in a 23-year-old college student here.

“The test results have come from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, and it is positive for Nipah. The health authorities have made elaborate arrangements and medicines are in stock,” Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said here Tuesday.

The Minister said 311 people from various districts with whom the student had interacted were under observation.

Five persons, three who attended to the student initially, one person from Kuttampuzha who studied with him, and a person from Chalakudy, suffering from fever and sore throat had been shifted to the isolation ward set up at the Ernakulam Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery, for a detailed medical examination. Their health condition was satisfactory, authorities said.

The student, hailing from North Paravur in Ernakulam district, studies in a college at Thodupuzha in Idukki district.

Student stable

The student, who was suffering from fever, had gone to Thrissur with a group of students to attend a training programme. Ms. Shylaja said the condition of the student, who is being treated at a private hospital here, was stable and he was not on any support system such as ventilator. “Good care is being given to the patient. The patient sometimes become restless due to fever.... We expect a good result,” she said.

The Minister urged the people not to panic and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

“From now on, there will be a high alert and three samples (blood, urine, and throat) from every person who shows symptoms of Nipah will be taken and send to the NIV, Alappuzha, Pune, and Manipal,” said Health Secretary Rajan Khorbagade. He said that experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research were intouch with the health authorities here.

The Centre on Tuesday rushed a six-member team to Kerala. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan spoke to Ms. Shylaja to discuss the situation and assured all support from the Centre.

The Health Ministry said the team, comprising an epidemiologist, had been sent to the State to conduct contact tracing for early detection of suspects and review of isolation facilities.

Ms.Shylaja said there was no move to reschedule school reopening in the State. There was also no travel advisory in the wake of the viral infection confirmed here.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 2:04:57 PM |

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