Deadly Nipah in Kerala, 5 positive and over 700 people on contact list
- EP News Service
- Sep 14, 2023
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The southern state of Kerala is faced with the outbreak of the deadly zoonotic disease virus Nipah for the fourth time since 2018, with another confirmed case, taking the total number of affected persons in the state to five and including two deaths while other three are undergoing treatment.
State Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Veena George has confirmed another case of the Nipah virus being detected, with a 24-year-old health worker at a private hospital in Kozhikode has been diagnosed with the deadly virus, taking the total number of affected persons in the state to five. Along with that, nearly 13 people have been put under observation in a hospital with mild symptoms like headaches.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired a high-level review meeting and in the wake of the deadly outbreak, the state government declared a holiday for all educational institutions in Kozhikode on Thursday and Friday.
Teams from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune are also arriving in Kerala to set up a mobile lab at Kozhikode Medical College to test for Nipah and carry out a survey of bats.
The state health department is tracking nearly 706 people in the contact list of the affected patients out of which 77 have been categorised in the high-risk category and nearly 153 health workers have been so far placed in the low-risk category.
According to George, the Nipah virus outbreak is the Bangladesh variant with a high mortality rate. She said that the Kerala government has formed 19 committees to monitor the outbreak of the Nipah virus in the state and said that all the possible prevention measures are in place and there was no need to panic.
Following the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode, a 24-hour control room has been set up in the neighbouring district of Wayanad.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nipah virus is caused by fruit bats and is potentially fatal to humans as well as animals. Transmission of the Nipah virus to humans can also happen from infected people through close physical contact, especially by contact with body fluids.
The outbreak of the deadly virus in Kerala was in 2018 in Kozhikode which claimed 17 lives out of 18 confirmed cases causing a widespread panic before it was contained. In 2021 it was again detected in Kozhikode and in 2019 in Ernakulam but by then the government were prepared to handle this disease with a high fatality rate.