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Nipah virus in Kerala: Centre issues advisory to deal with outbreak

Nipah virus in Kerala: Centre issues advisory to deal with outbreak

New Delhi: The Union health ministry on Monday sent a letter to Kerala chief secretary Dr VP Joy recommending measures to be taken to control the spread Nipah virus in the state. The ministry directed the state officials to strengthen hospital-based and community-based surveillance.

"Both the hospital-based and community-based surveillance needs to be strengthened. Awareness needs to be created among the field formations for early detection of cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome/Respiratory Distress and risk communicated to the public," he said.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that an active search for cases needs to be undertaken in the containment area as per the micro plan provided by the central team.

Bhushan also asked the state to strengthen contact tracing measures and identify primary, and secondary contacts, as well as prepare a list of high-risk contacts.

All district administrations will have to comply with the accepted norms of home quarantine and there should be an intensive follow-up on such cases, he stressed.

The Health Secretary has also asked the state government to issue alert in nearby districts of Kannur, Malappuram, and Wayanad.

Noting that the Government Medical College, Kozhikode, has been identified as the treatment centre, he said that an adequate number of single room isolation facilities, and negative pressure ICU may be earmarked as stand-by.

He also called for establishing a referral system along with earmarked ambulances and trained staff and to maintain adequate stock of Ribaverin (anti-viral) and Personal Protective Equipments at the district level. He said that the ICMR is exploring the feasibility of getting appropriate monoclonal antibodies for treatment purposes.

Bhushan advised the state government to set up a 24x7 Control Room for daily reporting and sharing information with the media and to initiate coordination with the Animal Health and Wildlife Departments and other field officers to trap and collect samples from fruit bats for virological studies and other associated measures.

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TAGS:KeralaNipah VirusNipah death
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