Nipah Virus Updates: Kerala Govt in Contact with Health Ministry
Nipah Virus Kerala 2019 Live Updates
Nipah Virus Kerala 2019 Live Updates(Photo: iStockphoto)

Nipah Virus Updates: Kerala Govt in Contact with Health Ministry

After much speculation, the Kerala government has confirmed Nipah virus in a 23-year-old man who had been admitted to a private hospital in Ernakulam on May 30. The confirmation came in from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune on 4 June.

The State Government has asked people not to panic and stay alert.

Nipah Virus Symptoms, Treatment, Medicine, Origin and Prevention Live Updates

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Nipah Confirmed in 23-Yr-Old in Kerala: Govt Initiates Measures

The Kerala Health Department has initiated precautionary measures to deal with the possible outbreak of Nipah virus.

On May 19, 2018, Nipah virus disease (NiV) outbreak was reported from Kozhikode in Malappuram district.

As per state government figures, the virus had claimed 17 lives - 14 in Kozhikode and three in neighbouring Malappuram in May last year.

Also Read : Nipah Confirmed in 23-Yr-Old in Kerala: Govt Initiates Measures

People Who Interacted With the Patient Are Under Observation

Four more people, including two nurses, have reported symptoms of fever, but confirmation in their case is not in yet.

Reports say that two of them had come in contact with the 23-year-old man. Over 80 people, among them 22 students, were put under surveillance on 3 June.

The Health minister had earlier said that there was no need for people to panic as the government had taken all precautionary measures and asked all private hospitals to inform them if suspected cases were reported.

What is Nipah Virus?

The natural host of the Nipah virus are fruit bats.
The natural host of the Nipah virus are fruit bats.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

According to the World Health Organisation, Nipah virus or NiV infection is a newly emerging infectious disease that causes severe illness in both animals and humans. The natural host of the Nipah virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.

Nipah virus is fairly new. The virus was first identified in 1998 in Malaysia and pigs were identified as the intermediate host. It spread to humans after they came in contact with pig feces and excretions.

Nipah virus gets it’s name from the village where the virus was first spotted. The virus has also been found in species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep after they came in contact with pigs.

(With inputs from PTI)

Also Read : Explainer: What is Nipah Virus? How Can You Keep Yourself Safe

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Union Health Minister Assures Support to Kerala Government

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is reviewing the public health measures for Nipah Virus. He said that he is in constant touch with Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.

A report in NDTV quoted the Union Health Minister saying that the centre will send monoclonal antibody (medicines) to Kerala. Everything that needs to be done in a scientific manner has been initiated. Nothing to panic.

He said they are also in touch with wildlife department to “seek their help for subjecting the bats for testing of the virus.”

As per a press release by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the State has initiated the following actions:

  • Contact tracing and surveillance
  • Standard capacity building for health functionaries, ambulance fleet drivers and others
  • Infection control activities in hospitals. Dedicated trained teams to handle cases
  • Rapid Response Teams at institutions
  • Help desk at Medical College Ernakulam established
  • Dedicated trained doctors, nurses, paramedics at hospitals. Vigil activated in all districts
  • Awareness generation

Nipah Virus: Keep a Check on These Symptoms

Symptoms of Nipah virus range from asymptomatic to fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, and coma.

Treatment is focused on managing fever and neurological symptoms and offering full support.

In Malaysia where the disease was first spotted, 50 percent of patients who showed symptoms died. In Bangladesh the death toll was also 70 percent.

Nipah Virus: Samples of a Second Patient To Be Sent For Testing

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has said that out of 86 suspected patients of Nipah, 2 were admitted. Now the sample of the second patient will be sent to National Institute of Virology in Alappuzha, Manipal Laboratory & Pune.

"Stringent Action Will Be Taken Against Those Who Spread Misinformation": CMO Kerala

The Chief Minister’s Office of Kerala has requested all to not panic and follow the instructions of the Health department. A team of experts had arrived in Kochi and is working towards containing the outbreak:

"There's No Need to Panic": Dr Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan chaired a high level meeting on Nipah Virus in Kerala this morning. He has told all present to not panic and that he had assured Kerala Health Minister of "all possible support regarding”.

Kerala Govt in Constant Contact with Health Ministry After Nipah Virus Confirmation: CM Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala government Tuesday said it is in "constant contact" with the Union Health ministry in the wake of confirmation about Nipah infecting a person in the state.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there was no need to panic as the health network would rise up to the challenge.

“We are in constant contact with the Union ministry for health. A team of experts have arrived in Kochi. Their guidelines will also be used to tackle the virus outbreak,” Vijayan said in a Facebook Post.

"The news of confirmation should not be a reason for panic. Our health network is ready to rise up to the challenge," he said.

Under the supervision of the state health minister, all necessary preparations have been completed, Vijayan said, adding those who came in contact with the infected person, have been traced and are under observation.

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