Nipah alert: TN to screen patients on Kerala borders

Kochi, June 6 : Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja revealed that seven patients have been admitted to hospital, one patient’s result is positive for Nipah virus.Six patients’ results are negative. No one has been discharged from isolation ward. Source of virus is not confirmed yet.

The Tamil Nadu government has set up medical teams at the checkposts in the seven districts bordering Kerala to screen for Nipah virus infected persons, said a senior official of the Public Health Department.

“No cases of Nipah virus has been reported in Tamil Nadu this year or even last year. However, as a precautionary against its spread, medical teams have been set up at checkposts in the districts bordering Kerala to screen people,” P. Vadivelan, Additional Director of the department, told IANS.

According to Vadivelan, the medical team will look out for persons with high fever and in confused state of mind, the symptoms of Nipah virus fever.

He said there will be an isolated ward in a government hospital in the seven districts to admit and treat the patients tested positive for the virus.

The seven Tamil Nadu districts are Kanniyakumari, Theni, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Dindigul.

Vadivelan said the doctors in the border districts have been given detailed guidelines on the symptoms of the disease and how to handle the patients.

“We are also sensitising people about preventive measures like not consuming bird bitten fruits, wash the fruits well before consumption and the like,” Vadivelan said.

The Nipah virus infection happens by consuming fruits bitten by bats and coming in contact with their urine, faeces and saliva.

Kerala administration has confirmed that 311 people are under observation. According to a medical bulletin, the 23 year-old student has been admitted to a private hospital with Nipah virus and is slowly recovering.

The state government has put four larger districts, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kollam, and Idukki, on high alert as the student had reportedly travelled through the region recently.

They were shifted to Kalamassery Medical College Hospital for a detailed medical examination. “Good care is being given to the patient. The patient sometimes becomes restless due to fever.We expect a good result,” Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja told reporters Tuesday.
According to a state government bulletin, the 311 individuals had interacted with the student when he had gone to attend a training programme with a group of students. The student belongs to North Paravur in Ernakulam and is a student of a college in Thodupuzha in Kerala’s Idukki district.

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