New Delhi: The centre has taken stringent measures to contain the outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus infection, which has claimed six lives so far in Kerala’s Kozhikode district.
While patients infected with the virus have been kept in isolation, both public and private hospitals have been provided with protective equipment to ensure that the virus does not spread among medical staff. Besides, steps have also been taken to contain the spread of the virus through animals.
“All contacts are under observation. Steps to avoid exposure through animal vectors have been taken. There is no reason for people to panic. This appears to be a localized occurrence," the Union health ministry said.
According to the ministry, seven patients are admitted in Baby Memorial Hospital, Government Medical College in Kozhikode and Amrutha Medical College in Ernakulam. Nine people are undergoing treatment.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team, which reached Kozhikode on Monday, visited Perambra, from where the first deaths were reported. Health experts confirmed that the source of the epidemic was a well and the first deaths were reported from the household of Valachuketti Moosa.
“The team found many bats in the well from where the family was drawing water. About 60 samples were collected from the spot and sent for lab examination," the ministry said.
A public health team from the NCDC branch in Kozhikode was also mobilized to assess the extent of the problem and for risk management.
Health minister J.P. Nadda asked citizens not to panic or spread rumours. “With early and efficient containment measures undertaken jointly by the ministry of health and family welfare and the government of Kerala, the outbreak is unlikely to spread."
The Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratory at Manipal Hospital and the National Institute of Virology have also been asked to be on standby to meet any diagnostic challenge that may arise. The field team from NCDC has also advised hospitals to follow intracranial pressure guidelines for managing brain trauma, use personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and for sample collection staff.