Nipah in Kerala: 5 cases; 700 people on contact list, 77 high-risk | 10 points

Sep 14, 2023 09:31 AM IST

Nipah virus prevention: Containment zones have been declared, the route maps of the two deceased have been published for people to avoid.

A 24-year-old health worker who came into close contact with a Nipah patient tested positive on Wednesday taking the total number of positive cases in the state to five. As the state government has announced containment zones and restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, the contact list of the patients has become a reason for worry as 700 people have come into contact of the patients. Out of these 700, about 77 are in the high-risk category, Kerala health minister Veena George said.

Nipah containment zone in Kozhikode: The Nipah virus can spread to humans through infected humans, infected animals and fruits. (REUTERS)
Nipah containment zone in Kozhikode: The Nipah virus can spread to humans through infected humans, infected animals and fruits. (REUTERS)

Nipah outbreak in Kerala: Here are the latest updates

1. The high-risk Nipah patients have been asked to remain inside their houses. The routes of the two Nipah patients who died have been published so that people don't take those routes.

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2. In Kozhikode, restrictions have been imposed banning the gathering of a large number of people at festivals, and functions.

3. 58 wards across nine panchayats in Vadakara taluk of Kozhikode district have been declared as containment zones. Essential services and only entry and exit are allowed in these areas. Shops selling essential goods will be allowed to function from 7am to 5pm. No time bar has been given for pharmacies and health centres.

Buses or vehicles plying on national highways through the containment zones should not stop in the affected areas.

4. A nine-year-old boy is suffering from the infection in Kozhikode and the government has ordered monoclonal antibody from ICMR to treat the child. There is no clinical proof that it works against Nipah but this is the only available treatment. The boy is on ventilator support.

5. Around 700 people came into contact of the patients and 76 of them are high risk. The minister said they are all stable.

6. While the outbreak this time took place in Kozhikode, minister Veena George said the entire Kerala is prone to getting such infections according to WHO and ICMR studies.

7. The Nipah strain found in Kerala this time is the Bangladesh variant which is less infectious but has a high mortality rate. This strain spreads from human to human.

8. Nipah is a zoonotic virus that can be transmitted from infected animals or contaminated food to humans. And then it can transmit from one infected person to another . The symptoms include fever, headache, cough, difficulty in breathing, vomiting which in severe cases turn into swelling of the brain leading to brain death.

9. Kerala reported Nipah outbreaks earlier -- once in 2018 and some isolated cases in 2019 and 2021. In 2018, 17 of the 18 patients died.

10. The Nipah outbreak in Kerala has put the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka on alert. The health department has asked the police to open checkposts at border points to inspect goods vehicles entering the district. The police have been directed to check fruits entering the state from Kerala.

(With bureau and agency inputs)

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