Nipah Virus High Alert: NCDC, AIIMS, IMA experts rush to Kozhikode
Thiruvananthapuram: With the rising toll of deaths with the Nipah Virus, the government is all up and arms to prevent its spread. The state government has assured that all arrangements are on the place and there is no need to panic.
State Health Minister, Shylaja the media that there was no need to panic as the virus spreads only through direct contact with the infected person. She also informed that quarantine measures for the infected have been put in place
"We have listed the persons who have got in touch with the patients. They have been isolated as a precautionary measure," she added.
To probe the death of first three persons due to the Nipah virus in Kozhikode district, the Indian health ministry sent a multi-disciplinary team to Kerala. The team was headed by the Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh.
“The Health Minister has directed constitution of a high-level team of doctors and the selected team has reached Kerala. It is being suspected that the virus is being spread by bats,” a health ministry official confirmed to PTI.
The team comprises officials from the Department of Animal Husbandry, National Institute of Immunology and the Indian Council of Medical Research, among others.
State-level control room
To contain the spread of the virus, two control rooms have been opened, one at Medical College Hospital and another at DMO office.
The Health Department appointed a State Nodal Officer (Dr Amar Fettle) for coordinating prevention activities. The department later opened a state-level control room for providing information on Nipah virus infection.
The contact numbers are 9447460345, 9539072275, 9539078400, 9946102860 and 9846021483, as per The New Indian Express.
AIIMS to review the situation
Deccan Chronicle reports that a high-level expert team from All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will arrive in Kozhikode district on Tuesday to visit the affected areas. The expert team will monitor the situation and recommend measures. The Health Minister confirmed, “The team will review the situation.”
IMA’s Appoints Expert Committee:
In order to provide muscle to the preventive measures, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has appointed an expert committee to conduct a study on the fever deaths in the district.
The committee comprises Dr VG Pradeep Kumar (Neurologist), Dr Bhargavan (Retired Professor, General Medicine), Dr Sasidharan (Senior Physician), Dr Abdul Khader (Chest specialist), Dr Althaf (Community Medicine) and Dr Preethy Nair (microbiologist).
IMA president Dr EK Ummar and Secretary Dr N Sulfhi told Matrubhumi that the committee has been directed to submit the report within 72 hours.
State Govt to Seek Help from WHO:
Given the situation, its possible that the state government will seek help from World Health Organization (WHO) to tackle the virus outbreak. The State government is reportedly planning to involve the World Health Organisation in the ongoing diagnosis and preventive work, reports the Hindu.
To ensure effective treatment to those infected with the virus, the state government also sanctioned an emergency fund of Rs 20 lakh to the Kozhikode Medical College.