Next week will be crucial in containing Nipah virus, says Health Minister

Kerala Health Minister Veena George

Kozhikode: Health Minister Veena George has informed that the next week will be crucial in preventing the spread of the Nipah virus following the death of a 12-year-old boy in Kozhikode district. The Minister was addressing the media after a meeting held in the presence of Ministers AK Saseendran, PA Mohammed Riyas and Ahmed Devarkovil on Nipah prevention in the state.

The pay ward block of the Kozhikode medical college has been allotted for Nipah treatment and the patients who were there were shifted to other wards. Eighteen people on the high-risk list were admitted to the ward.

The house of the child who died of Nipah is in Chathamangalam panchayath. A three-kilometre radius around the area is now under strict quarantine. A warning is issued for nearby areas of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur districts. The availability of medicines required for the treatment has been ensured.

For those under observation, the Point of Care (TrueNAT) examination will be held at Kozhikode Medical College on Sunday evening (September 6). A team from the Institute of Virology, Pune will set up a lab for this purpose. The minister also said that if the Point of Care test is found to be positive, a confirmatory test will be conducted at the Pune Virology Institute and the results will be available within 12 hours.

Currently, only one positive case has been reported. The health department had called an emergency meeting soon after receiving the notification from the Pune Virology Institute. Various committees have been formed on this basis.

A contact list has been prepared of those who have been in close contact with the child, as well as the contacts made at the private clinics, private hospitals and medical college where the child was taken for treatment. There are currently 188 people on the contact list. Of these, 18 are at high risk.Two health workers have also shown symptoms and one is an employee of a medical college and the other of a private hospital.

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