How Kerala is tackling the second Nipah outbreak

One more case tests negative for Nipah

Health officials remove waste from an isolation ward of the Government Medical College in Ernakulam. Nipah, a rare and often deadly disease which is back in the news with a student in Kerala diagnosed with the infection, is a zoonotic virus transmitted from animals such as bats or pigs to humans, and can also spread through contaminated food and people-to-people contact.

Health officials remove waste from an isolation ward of the Government Medical College in Ernakulam. Nipah, a rare and often deadly disease which is back in the news with a student in Kerala diagnosed with the infection, is a zoonotic virus transmitted from animals such as bats or pigs to humans, and can also spread through contaminated food and people-to-people contact.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Areas in Ernakulam district with heavy density of bats to be marked

One more person currently being treated at the isolation ward of the Government Medical College Hospital, Ernakulam, has tested negative for the Nipah virus. Six suspected cases were tested negative earlier, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said in New Delhi on Friday.

However, the seven persons admitted to the isolation ward will be monitored for the entire length of the incubation period of the virus.

Meanwhile, efforts to trace the source of Nipah virus continued four days after a youngster was tested positive for the virus. An expert team from the Pune-based National Institute of Virology has descended on the district to mark out places with high concentration of bats. The team comprises an entomologist and a field biologist. Besides, the Forest Department has identified three spots with heavy concentration of bats in Vadakkekkara, the area from where the youngster who tested positive for Nipah hails. An action plan has been drawn up for their trapping using nets from Saturday, a medical bulletin issued by District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla on Friday said.

Patient stable

The condition of the 23-year-old youngster continues to remain stable despite intermittent bouts of fever. He had food and spoke with his mother. A medical board was convened to discuss his treatment.

No fresh admissions for suspected Nipah have been reported in the district so far in the day.

The number of calls to the call centres set up in the wake of Nipah dropped on Friday with only 22 calls being received during the day. So far, 512 calls had been received since the confirmation of Nipah.

Misinformation

The Cyber Space Monitoring Team has intensified its action against those found guilty of engaged in spreading misinformation relating to Nipah. The team handed over eight such cases to the police. One such fake news was detected on Friday while the police have so far registered cases against two.

Though the situation remains under control, the Health Department will continue with its anti-Nipah preventive drive. Around 10,000 three-layered masks and 450 personal protection kits have been made available.

New isolation ward

A new isolation ward has been set up at the Government Medical College Hospital, Ernakulam. Specially trained teams have been deployed for manning the new isolation ward with 30 beds. The teams include 70 doctors, 102 paramedical staff and 30 attenders. A team has also been kept on stand-by. Arrangements have also been put in place for the scientific disposal of biomedical waste.

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Printable version | May 24, 2020 7:39:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/one-more-case-tests-negative-for-nipah/article27690746.ece

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