It has been confirmed that a 23-year-old man who had been admitted to a private hospital in Ernakulam on May 30, has contracted the Nipah virus. The confirmation has come in from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. The Kerala government had sent the student’s samples to NIV in Alappuzha and Pune. While NIV Alappuzha had said that the student could have contracted Nipah, the government was waiting for a confirmation from NIV in Pune.
Health Minister KK Shailaja said, “The confirmation came in today morning. But there is no need to panic. From the time we suspected this was Nipah, we have put all measures into place.” The patient is now stable.
The Health Minister also added that two nurses who treated the patient in the hospital have also complained of slight discomfort in their throat. “We have started giving them the necessary treatment as well,” she said.
Even before the confirmation from NIV in Pune, the Kerala government had put into place preventive measures. The government had traced the 22 students who had travelled with the 23-year-old and kept them under observation. Five others who stayed with the student in Idukki, his family, and others who had been in contact with him were also traced, various District Medical Officers had informed the media. In total, 86 persons, who were said to have interacted with the patient, have been put under medical observation.
While the government had sent an alert to District Collectors on Sunday, cough corners have been set up across hospitals in Kerala. Isolation wards have been arranged in Medical Colleges in Thrissur, Ernakulam and Kozhikode.
A control room has been set up by the district administration in Ernakulam to clear all apprehensions about the virus.
The public has been advised to call 1077 to clear doubts if any.
The virus first broke out in Kerala in May 2018 and claimed the lives of 17 people
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday that the Kerala government was taking precautionary actions and closely monitoring the situation after a suspected case of Nipah virus was reported in Kochi in Kerala.
“The government is closely monitoring the current situation,” Pinarayi Vijayan said in a Facebook post and urged everyone to follow the instructions of the Health Department.
“No one needs to be afraid. Be alert. The health department is all set to face any situation,” Pinarayi Vijayan said.
The chief minister also asked people not to indulge in fake campaigns about the Nipah virus on social media.