Kerala

State acting fast to check Nipah virus outbreak

 Members of a Central team discussing the situation with Health Minister K.K.Shylaja at Kozhikode Government Medical College after Nipah virus (NiV) infection claimed four lives at a village in the district .

Members of a Central team discussing the situation with Health Minister K.K.Shylaja at Kozhikode Government Medical College after Nipah virus (NiV) infection claimed four lives at a village in the district .

The State is moving fast to contain the situation that has arisen out of the Nipah virus threat, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja has said.

As part of the moves taken, special wards had been asked to be set up at the Government General Hospital, Kozhikode, and taluk hospitals in Vadakara, Koyilandy and Thamarassery, to treat fever patients, Ms. Shylaja, who attended a high-level meeting in Kozhikode, told the media.

Those who had symptoms of the infection could be referred to the medical college hospital. An observation room had been opened at the casualty section at the medical college apart from a control room, she said.

The Minister also held discussions with a team of experts sent by the Central government who met with government authorities at various levels in Perambara and Kozhikode. The team included Sujeet K. Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); S.K. Jain, Head, Epidemiology, NCDC; P. Raveendran, Director, EMR, Directorate General of Health Services; Naveen Gupta, Head, Zoonosis, NCDC; one respiratory physician; one neuro physician; and an expert from the Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry.

Source of infection

G. Arun Kumar of the Manipal Academy of Virus Research, who visited Changaroth on Sunday, said the source of the infection might be the bats found in a well on the house premises of the deceased. They were captured and sent for detailed tests, with the help of veterinary and wildlife experts. Fruits collected from trees on the premises too had been sent for tests. He clarified that the infection had not spread in the neighbourhood or in the community. Only those who belonged to a family or those who had interacted with the affected closely had been infected. The mortality rate is 40% to 70%.

Apart from the seven-member task force headed by District Collector U.V. Jose, another secondary team of officials and health experts, too, has been formed. More ventilators will be either brought from private hospitals or steps will be taken to shift the patients there if the situation worsens.

In Bangladesh

The Indian Medical Association’s Kerala chapter has offered to send a special team. The government will also examine the precautionary measures taken by the Bangladesh government when that country faced a similar situation some time ago.

Ms. Shylaja said efforts were on to set up virology labs at Kozhikode and Alappuzha.

A lab had already been opened at Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram. The fever deaths in Malappuram district were under observation.

 


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 9:30:10 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-acting-fast-to-check-nipah-virus-outbreak/article23954362.ece