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Nipah virus | General alert to continue in six districts in Kerala

Health Minister Veena George has stated that there have been no new cases of Nipah virus infection since September 15. However, 71 more samples have tested positive for the virus.

Individuals who had contact with Nipah-infected patients in Kozhikode district, Kerala, have been advised to self-isolate for at least 21 days. This announcement comes after 71 body fluid samples sent for lab testing turned out negative for the virus.

Health Minister Veena George made this announcement following a meeting with district medical officers from Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur, Wayanad, Thrissur, and Palakkad districts on Monday.

Apart from Kozhikode, 45 individuals in other districts are in quarantine due to their contact with infected individuals. Isolation wards and special ambulances are on standby in these areas, and the situation is reportedly under control.

Ms. George emphasized that despite no new cases since September 15, vigilance against the infection must continue for some more days.

Out of the six infected individuals, two have unfortunately passed away, while the others are receiving medical treatment. The condition of a nine-year-old child among them is improving, while the rest are stable.

Meanwhile, a Central team of officials, after visiting affected areas and interacting with locals and relatives of infected individuals, expressed satisfaction with the containment measures. They have collected samples from fruit-eating bats in Maruthonkara, the hometown of the first patient, and nearby areas.

Notably, teams from the National Institute of Virology, Pune, the National Centre for Disease Control, and the Indian Council of Medical Research are involved in this effort.

Another Central team from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying is conducting field-level investigations in affected areas, collecting samples from pet animals, pigs, and fruit-eating bats. An online meeting with State Minister for Animal Husbandry J. Chinchurani took place later. These officials are expected to continue their work until Wednesday, with support from a team from the State Institute for Animal Diseases, Kerala.

On Monday, the Kozhikode district administration eased certain restrictions in nine gram panchayats that were declared as containment zones on September 13.

Photo Credit: PTI