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Thu, 20 Jun 2019

Northeast Today

Following Nipah scare, Kerala’s health department activates safety protocols

Following Nipah scare, Kerala’s health department activates safety protocols
June 03
14:51 2019

NET Bureau

Having learned valuable lessons during the outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts last year, the health department in Kerala has swung into action after a male student in Ernakulam district was admitted to a private hospital last week with similar symptoms of the infection.

The health ministry, headed by KK Shailaja which worked overtime during the crisis last year, activated safety protocols at the hospital in Ernakulam and has sent a team of top medical officials to the district. The minister herself, after holding talks with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram, is on her way to Kochi.

“In the backdrop of the learning we got last year, we are always aware. Even before this case of the patient, when we had patients with similar symptoms, we have sent their specimens for confirmation from labs…we have initiated all arrangements for isolation wards at the Ernakulam Medical College in case a confirmation for Nipah is received. We have contacted all medical facilities on the periphery,” the health minister told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

The virus infection, that can be transmitted to humans from animals (especially fruit bats) claimed 17 lives in the state last year. First recognized in 1998-99 among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore, the virus has a high case fatality rate. Initial symptoms include fever, vomiting, sore throat, headaches and muscle pain. There are no known drugs or vaccines available and supportive care is the only form of treatment.

Source: The Indian Express

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