'Strengthen Contact Tracing Measures': Centre Tells Kerala on Nipah Outbreak

Kerala's Kozhikode has become the epicenter of Nipah spread after a child from the district succumbed to the virus.

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The Centre on Monday, 6 September, recommended various measures to be taken by the Kerala government to curb the Nipah virus outbreak in the state, based on the first report submitted by a central team.

In a letter to state Chief Secretary VP Joy, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that an active search for cases needs to be undertaken in the containment area as per the micro plan provided by the central team.


'Both Hospital-Based and Community-Based Surveillance to Be Strengthened'

"Both the hospital-based and community-based surveillance needs to be strengthened. Awareness needs to be created among the field formations for early detection of cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome/Respiratory Distress and risk communicated to the public."
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan

Bhushan also asked the state to strengthen contact tracing measures and identify primary and secondary contacts, as well as prepare a list of high-risk contacts.

All district administrations will have to comply with the accepted norms of home quarantine and there should be an intensive follow-up on such cases, he stressed.

The Health Secretary has also asked the state government to issue alert in nearby districts of Kannur, Malappuram, and Wayanad.

Noting that the Government Medical College, Kozhikode, has been identified as the treatment centre, he said that an adequate number of single room isolation facilities, and negative pressure ICU may be earmarked as stand-by.


He also called for establishing a referral system along with earmarked ambulances and trained staff and to maintain adequate stock of Ribaverin (anti-viral) and personal protective equipments at the district level. He said that the ICMR is exploring the feasibility of getting appropriate monoclonal antibodies for treatment purposes.

Bhushan advised the state government to set up a 24x7 control room for daily reporting and sharing information with the media, and to initiate coordination with the Animal Health and Wildlife Departments and other field officers to trap and collect samples from fruit bats for virological studies and other associated measures.

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Topics:  Kerala   Nipah Virus   Nipah Deaths 

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