Kerala Nipah deaths prompt Karnataka to issue safety guidelines

by The Technical Blogs

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Hours after the Kerala government declared seven village panchayats in Kozhikode, where two people died due to the Nipah virus, as containment zones, the authorities in neighbouring Karnataka issued guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease.

On Tuesday, the Kerala Health Department issued an alert after two deaths were reported due to fever in Kozhikode. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had confirmed that the Nipah virus caused the deaths. Kozhikode has experienced two previous Nipah virus outbreaks, one in 2018 and another in 2021. During the first outbreak in 2018, 23 cases were identified, with 17 people succumbing to this zoonotic virus.

An official from Kerala’s health ministry said that the virus was transmitted to humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected bats, pigs, or other people. The Kerala government has issued lockdown-like norms for the seven containment zones.

Considering the potential consequences of the Nipah virus, the principal secretaries of the Department of Health and Family Welfare have been instructed to abide by the following guidelines.

Nipah virus guidelines

  • To take voluntary and vigilant measures to be taken near the Kerala border.

  • To take necessary action to convene a meeting of the District Rapid Response Team regarding Nipah virus management.

  • To alert all government and private health institutions in Dakshina Kannada to report Nipah virus cases and immediately inform the district office/unit.

  • To strengthen fever surveillance units for all Primary Health Center (PHC) medical officers, including the provision of separate 10-bedded wards for Nipah virus management in district hospitals, taluk hospitals, and all medical college hospitals, equipped with oxygen and essential medicines. They should ensure the stocking of necessary medicines and the training of field staff to recognise Nipah symptoms.

  • To arrange to send samples of any suspected cases reported by District Public Health Laboratories to the NIV Laboratory in Pune.

  • To take steps to establish an effective system for awareness and sensitising healthcare professionals, especially surgeons, about this virus.

Published On:

Sep 13, 2023

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