Nipah Death in Kerala: 20 Contacts at High Risk, 2 Health Workers Symptomatic

Authorities in Kerala’s Kozhikode district have stepped up vigil after a 12 year old boy succumbed to Nipah virus.

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Authorities in Kerala’s Kozhikode district have stepped up vigil and are on high alert following the death of a 12-year-old boy due to the Nipah virus early on Sunday, 5 September.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George informed the media that two health workers who came in contact with the 12-year-old boy are also showing symptoms of getting infected by the virus.

One of them is a staff employee at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, and the other is a staff member at a private hospital in Kozhikode where the boy was under treatment.


20 High-Risk Contacts Identified, Containment Zone Declared

Kerala Health Minister Veena George added that 158 people have been identified who came in contact with the boy, and 20 of them are on the primary contact list.

The 20 people, who are in the high-risk category, will be admitted to the Medical College Hospital by evening.

One ward at the medical college is being converted into Nipah ward and Nipah positive patients will be on one floor, while symptomatic people will be treated on another floor of the ward.

COVID-19 patients who are in this ward will be shifted to another building, the health minister said.

The minister added that the area where the boy had been living will be declared as a containment zone. While an alert has been issued for neighbouring districts of Kannur and Malappuram, a Nipah control room has been set up in Kozhikode.

The police have reportedly diverted traffic around a three kilometre-radius of the house of the child who died of Nipah.

The ward of the panchayat where Nipah has been sealed off and the other wards nearby have been put under lockdown.

The Kerala Health Department has deputed a special team to prevent the spread of infection and 16 core committees have been formed.

Kerala had first witnessed an outbreak of the Nipah virus in 2018 in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. The first Nipah virus case was reported in Kozhikode district at that time too.

The virus is spread by the saliva of fruit bats. There were 17 deaths and 18 confirmed cases as of June 2018. The health department has also issued guidelines to prevent the transmission of the virus.

(This story was first published in The News Minute and then republished here with permission.)

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