Nipah Virus Resurfaces in Kerala, Claiming Two Lives: Health Ministry On Alert

13 Sept 2023 • In a concerning development, Nipah virus has resurfaced in Kerala, resulting in two fatalities in the Kozhikode district. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya confirmed the virus as the cause of death and disclosed that four suspected cases are presently under surveillance, with samples dispatched to the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

To aid the state's efforts, a central government team of four experts has been dispatched. While guidelines and protective kits have been provided to government medical colleges, the Health Minister assured that there is currently no need for importing drugs to treat Nipah virus patients.

Nipah, as per the World Health Organization, is a zoonotic disease with a relatively high case fatality ratio, posing a significant public health threat in the South East Asia and Western Pacific WHO Regions due to its transmission from animals to humans and through contaminated food or direct person-to-person contact, manifesting as a spectrum of illnesses from asymptomatic infection to severe respiratory issues and fatal encephalitis.

Health Minister, Dr. Mandaviya added that government medical colleges in Kerala were issued guidelines on the precautions to be taken. “This isn’t a new virus, and we have some experience with this,” assured the Minister.

Source: TOI | Read full story

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