Nipah: ICMR Permits Kerala To Conduct Truenat Portable Tests

21 Sept 2023 • Kerala has received approval from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to use the Truenat test for diagnosing Nipah virus (NiV). Hospitals equipped with BSL 2 level labs can now conduct the test. Health Minister Veena George announced that a standard operating procedure for the test will be developed.

This development will expand the number of labs in the state that can perform NiV diagnostics. Positive samples from the Truenat test can be sent to labs in Kozhikode or Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospitals or to the Institute of Advanced Virology in the capital.

Kerala's successful containment of Nipah is attributed to the diligent work of the Kozhikode district surveillance team, which promptly identified the index case. No new Nipah cases have been reported since then. Currently, four individuals who tested positive, including the nine-year-old child of the deceased index case, are undergoing treatment. The child's condition has improved, and he no longer requires oxygen support. The other three patients are also recovering well.

Out of 323 samples tested for Nipah, 317 were negative, with six positive cases, including two fatalities. Despite the 21-day incubation period, the state will continue surveillance for an additional 21 days, making it a 42-day monitoring period. Efforts are underway to strengthen activities under the One Health initiative, involving relevant departments.

The state will focus on establishing a long-term Nipah surveillance strategy. Nipah surveillance is integrated into the state's Aarogya Jagratha calendar, and healthcare workers have received training as part of the Nipah protocol.

Source: The Hindu | Read full story

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