Kerala: After three confirmed deaths due to the Nipah virus (NiV), and reports on eight other patients awaited, Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja today said things are under control and there is no need to panic. “All the periphery hospitals of the Kozhikode Medical College hospital are fully equipped to tackle the fever. All those who have fever need not rush to the medical college itself.
“At the moment, eight patients are currently in treatment. Their samples have been sent to Pune and results are awaited,” said Shailaja. Nipah virus (NiV), spread by fruit bats that infects both animals and humans, has claimed the lives of two brothers and their aunt in Perambara within a few weeks, and now eight more people are under close observation.
Transmission of NiV takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from other NiV-infected people. “The health officials visited the house of Sabith and his brother, who passed away due to Nipah virus, and found there was a well in their house that was unused but had lots of bats. “The authorities have sealed the top of the well to ensure that the remaining bats do not come out,” said Shailaja.
She also added that people were being educated to ensure that they do not eat any fruits that fall down from trees. “Awareness programmes have already begun and more and more medical teams from the Centre, the Indian Medical Association and private hospitals are being readied.
“The first Central team has already arrived and another one is arriving tomorrow (Tuesday),” said Shailaja and added that all patients coming down with fever must not panic. The state government has sanctioned an emergency fund of Rs 20 lakh to the Kozhikode Medical College to tackle the present fever outbreak.