Nipah: Kerala to test samples of all persons in 'high-risk' contact list

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Health Minister Veena George. Photo:ANI/File

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday decided to take body-fluid samples of all of those who are on the 'high-risk' contact list linked to the first Nipah victim, a 47-year-old man who died on August 30 in the latest outbreak of the infection in the state.

State Health Minister Veena George said they had a high-level meeting this morning and after that the Principal Secretary had a meeting with officials of the Union Government.

"We have decided to take samples of all the persons who are in the high-risk contact list of the first person, who died on August 30," said Veena George.

The Minister also said that the hospitals, where Nipah patients are being treated, should constitute a medical board for their treatment, and every 12 hours they should provide a medical report of the patients to the Health Department.

Veena George said that there are 14 persons in isolation who don't have any epidemiological link with the persons who died of the Nipah virus.

"We have some patients in isolation in private hospitals. Eleven have got mild symptoms, so their samples are also being taken and sent to the lab," said George.

The Minister also said that the vitals of the nine-year-old son of the first Nipah victim, who is being treated for the disease, are stable.

The minister flagged off the mobile virology lab of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology. The mobile virology lab will be deployed in Nipah containment zone in the Kozhikode district.

The Minister said the mobile lab has two machines each of which can test 96 samples at a time.

Chandrabhas Narayana, Director of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, said that the mobile lab will function round the clock. The results of the samples tested will be available after around six hours of the test, he added.

Meanwhile, after a health worker from a private hospital tested positive for Nipah on Wednesday, the number of cases in the current spell of Nipah in Kerala rose to five.

In Kozhikode district, where Nipah cases have been reported, District Collector declared closure of educational institutions on September 16, in addition to the two-day closure for September 14 and 15.

The schedule of university and PSC exam remains unchanged.

"All tuition centres and coaching centres in the district should not function on these days. Educational institutes can arrange online classes… Avoid unnecessary travel and gatherings. Caution is prevention,” said the Kozhikode DC A Geetha in a social media post. (ANI)

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