Nipah outbreak under control but chance of second wave cannot be ruled out, says Kerala CM

PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: 19-09-2023 20:50 IST | Created: 19-09-2023 20:43 IST
Nipah outbreak under control but chance of second wave cannot be ruled out, says Kerala CM
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday that the Nipah outbreak reported from Kozhikode district is under control now, but the threat of the infectious disease is not over yet in the state.

At present, it is not possible to rule out the chance of a second wave of the Nipah outbreak, he said.

It cannot be said that the threat of Nipah is completely over, but it is a relief that the disease has not spread among more people, the Chief Minister told a press conference here after a review meeting.

''A Nipah review meeting was held here today. Health experts are of the opinion that the possibility of a second wave is very remote but cannot be completely ruled out,'' he said.

Noting that the state health system could effectively prevent the spread of the deadly virus, he said early detection of the virus averted a dangerous situation.

Though the spread of the infection is under control, even the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) could not provide a clear answer to why Nipah cases are being reported from northern Kozhikode, he said.

Samples of 36 bats were sent for testing, but no virus was found, and more samples would be collected in the coming days, the CM added.

The route map of the first infected person was taken with the help of the police, and samples of bats from these sites would be collected and sent for testing, he said. ''Even the ICMR does not give a clear answer to why the disease is recurring in Kozhikode. In this regard, the state has decided to conduct a zero surveillance study. The health department has been directed to prepare a detailed proposal for this,'' Vijayan said.

The information from the ICMR study on bats would also be available to the state, and research, which involves collecting samples without catching bats, would be carried out with the help of the Institute of Advanced Virology here, he further said.

The tests would continue to be conducted at the microbiology lab at Kozhikode Medical College and at the Institute of Advanced Virology Lab at Thonnakkal near here, Vijayan said.

It is estimated that the number of people on the contact list of the affected persons is likely to increase, he said.

Narrating the steps taken by the government to check the prevention of the disease, Vijayan said currently 994 people are under surveillance. Samples of 304 people were collected, and of these, the test results of 267 people have been received, he added. He said six people tested positive and nine people are under observation at Kozhikode Medical College. The Health Department also formed a psycho-social support team as part of the Nipah prevention activities, the CM added.

Nipah cases were reported from the Kozhikode district on previous occasions in 2018 and 2021.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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