Kozhikode: A patient being admitted to a Nipah isolation ward at the Medical College in Kozhikode, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. (PTI Photo)
Kozhikode: In the wake of the Nipah outbreak in this north Kerala district, the state government has launched an OPD service under its e-Sanjeevini telemedicine system. The launch of the special out patient department (OPD) service in connection with Nipah was highlighted by Kozhikode District Collector (DC) A Geetha.
In a Facebook post, the DC said the new service would help address doubts related to Nipah and those showing symptoms of infection can seek medical assistance without having to go to a doctor. Geetha said that the e-Sanjeevani Nipah OPD service will be available from 8 am to 5 pm.
E-Sanjeevani platform is a system where you can seek treatment from the comfort of your home without visiting the hospital. Apart from the regular OP, the services of specialist doctors are also assured every day, the DC's post said. The Collector, in another post, said that while caution has to be exercised, there was no need to fear bats or attack them. She cited reports of attacks on bats in the district as they are the cause of the Nipah outbreak.
In her post, Geetha has advised people against frightening bats by throwing stones at them or making loud noises by bursting firecrackers, setting fire to their roots and cutting down trees they inhabit. The DC said that when the bats infected with Nipah are harmed, frightened or moved from their habitat, the level of the virus in their body increases due to stress.
As a result, the viruses will be expelled through the body fluids and this will increase the risk of spread of the infection, she said.
Bats are mammals that make a definite contribution to our tropical habitats, and are critical to pest control, plant pollination and seed dispersal, the DC said. She requested everyone to understand the seriousness of the situation and act responsibly, saying that people need to get used to living cautiously alongside bats without fearing them.
In a relief for the Kerala government, no fresh positive cases of Nipah virus were reported on Saturday in the state even as five more people, who came into contact with those infected, showing some symptoms of the disease were admitted in isolation at the medical hospital here.
However, results of 51 samples sent for testing were awaited. At present, six cases of Nipah infection have been confirmed in the state. Of the six, two persons have died bringing the number of active cases to 4.
The government had said that the number of people who were suspected of coming into contact with those infected has risen to 1,192. Additionally, house surveillance was carried out in 22,208 homes in the containment zones till date. All the cases so far have emanated from the first person infected -- the index case -- who died on August 30.
This is the fourth time the viral infection has been confirmed in the state. It was detected in Kozhikode in 2018 and 2021 and in Ernakulam in 2019. The World Health Organisation and ICMR studies have found that the entire state, not just Kozhikode, is prone to such infections. PTI