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Nipah virus outbreak: Karnataka urges caution regarding travel to Kerala

New Delhi: In light of the Nipah virus outbreak in the Kozhikode region of Kerala, the Karnataka government has issued an advisory asking individuals to refrain from travelling to the affected areas of the neighbouring state.

The Karnataka government has also instructed its officials to enhance surveillance efforts in bordering districts such as Kodagu, Dakshin Kannada, Chamarajanagar, and Mysore to prevent any potential entry of Nipah cases into the state.

Nipah virus is an extremely lethal infection that has already affected four individuals and claimed two lives in Kozhikode district, Kerala so far this year. States are required to submit their compliance reports to the government within 24 hours.

“The surveillance activities in the districts bordering Kerala state need to be intensified to prevent the transmission of the infection…Training of healthcare staff to the PHC level. District Rapid Response Team (RRT) inclusive of veterinary officers to be alerted. Identify and keep atleast two beds reserved in the district hospital for quarantining the suspected cases reported if any negative pressure ICU to be identified,” said the advisory adding that the officials need to ensure adequate stock of essential drugs and oxygen in the hospital.

The state government has also asked the hospitals to ensure PPE kits, VTM and other equipment for sample collection and transportation from a suspected case. The samples of suspected cases need to be immediately transported to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. “All private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes to report the suspected cases the district health officer. All the suspected cases need to be monitored and their contacts till the end of the incubation period,” the advisory added.

On Thursday, union minister of state (health) Bharati Pravin Pawar reviewed steps taken by the Centre and the state governments to contain the spread of the virus. The central government has deputed a high-level team from NIV with mobile units equipped with BSL-3 laboratories to Kerala’s Kozhikode to conduct on-ground testing.

The clinical signs and symptoms of Nipah virus are moderate to high-grade fever, headache, vomiting, myalgia, cough, and rapidly progressing breathlessness. Neurologic symptoms included altered sensorium and seizures. The virus is transmitted to humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected bats, pigs or other people.

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Updated: 15 Sep 2023, 12:51 PM IST

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