Central team visiting Kerala concludes that Nipah is a local occurrence not a major outbreak

After a detailed review of the Nipah situation, the central team visiting Kerala has concluded that it is a local occurrence and not a major outbreak as was feared.

A multi-disciplinary Central Team led by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is presently in Kerala constantly reviewing the situation of the Nipah Virus Disease. Nipah is an infection which can be transmitted to humans from animals. The virus causes brain fever and patients slip into a coma. Fruit bats are considered the main carrier of the virus.

So far in Kerala there have been 14 confirmed cases and 12 deaths. Of the latter, 9 are from Kozhikode and 3 from Malappuram. The total number of suspected cases is 20.

After meetings with district collectors, medical and paramedical staff at hospitals, the central team fine-tuned the draft guidelines, case definitions, advisory for healthcare workers, information to the general public, advisories for sample collection and transportation accordingly.

They also reviewed the condition of the admitted patients. The efforts taken so far for containment of the disease have been fruitful as the disease has not spread to new areas. The contact tracing strategy adopted has also been successful.

It has been found that all the reported cases including the suspected cases had direct or indirect contact with the first casualty/his family prior to contacting the disease.

It has been found that all the reported cases including the suspected cases had direct or indirect contact with the first casualty/his family prior to contacting the disease.

General awareness among the general public has been encouraging, the Union health ministry said in a statement.  They have been asked to follow safe hygiene practices, not to consume fruits/vegetables partly eaten by birds/animals and steps to be taken while going near the infected persons/areas. The state government has also issued advisories in Malayalam.

The central team also reviewed/discussed with the hospitals the management and treatment of the patients.  The treatment procedure adopted by the hospitals for the patients with specific/non-specific symptoms has been found effective.  The suspect cases admitted in the Kozhikode Medical College and Trivandrum Medical College are under observation.

All healthcare workers have adopted safe practices for dealing with the patients.

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