Kerala Health Minister Veena George urges caution over Nipah Virus concerns
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday that four people are undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode with symptoms of Nipah. The result from Pune National Institute of Virology(NIV) will be out today evening
Kozhikode: Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday that four people are undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode with symptoms of Nipah. One person is being treated on a ventilator. The minister said that the wife of the deceased Maruthonkara resident is also under observation. The result from Pune National Institute of Virology(NIV) will be out today evening. After that, the meeting will be held again at 6 p.m., the minister added.
16 teams have been formed for Nipah regulations. Control rooms will be opened in the district, and vigilance will be strengthened in hospitals. The minister also suggested that unnecessary visits to hospitals should be avoided. The minister added that those who came into close contact with those with Nipah symptoms would be shifted to isolation wards, and currently there are 75 people on the contact list.
According to reports, the Panchayat Health Department has conducted surveillance in 90 households near the residence of the deceased individual. As a precautionary measure, residents have been advised to wear masks and remain vigilant. Asha workers are actively conducting fieldwork today to monitor the situation closely. Additionally, a dedicated control room has been established within the panchayat, and individuals experiencing fever symptoms are encouraged to report there for assistance. The Panchayat President also mentioned that they have gathered information regarding all individuals who sought medical attention at the hospital for fever-related concerns.
The Health Department, in an advisory issued on Monday (Sep 11), said that two 'unnatural deaths' were reported in Kozhikode. The deceased individuals were reportedly natives of Maruthonkara and Thiruvallur, respectively. Four people who came into contact with the deceased are being treated after showing symptoms of Nipah. The people in isolation include two children, aged four and nine, and a 25-year-old man who was the brother-in-law of the deceased.
One of the deceased died on August 30, while the other succumbed to fever on Monday night.
The man who sought treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode due to fever and another who came to the hospital with his father while he was being treated succumbed to the same symptoms. However, there were no doubts at that time that it was Nipah. The cause of death was thought to be pneumonia. The health department clarified that although a detailed examination was conducted, there was nothing suspicious.
However, after this, the person who came with the deceased's father to the same hospital was diagnosed with similar symptoms. Soon after this, he also died, leading to suspicion. By that time, four more people, including the children and relatives of the first deceased, had started showing symptoms. This strengthened the suspicion that it might be the Nipah virus.
In May 2018, the Nipah virus broke out for the first time in south India, wreaking havoc in Kerala. The epidemic in the districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram claimed a total of 17 fatalities.