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September 2023

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Health & Fitness

Nipah virus scare; 5th case confirmed in Kerala

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In response to the recent Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode district in northern Kerala, educational institutions in the affected district will remain closed on Thursday and Friday. Kozhikode District Collector A Geetha announced this holiday through a Facebook post and suggested that online classes be arranged for students during this time. However, university exams will proceed as scheduled.

The outbreak’s latest case is a 24-year-old health worker, marking the fifth confirmed Nipah case in Kerala. To manage the situation, a 24-hour control room has been established in the neighboring Wayanad district. Wayanad has also formed 15 core committees to oversee prevention and surveillance efforts and manage emergency situations.

The virus strain identified in the state is the Bangladesh variant, which is transmitted from human to human and has a high mortality rate, albeit with lower infectivity. Currently, all 76 individuals in the high-risk contact category are in stable condition, with only a 9-year-old child among the infected individuals requiring intensive care. Monoclonal antibodies, though not clinically proven, have been ordered from ICMR for the child’s treatment.

A review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan concluded that comprehensive prevention measures are in place, and there is no need for panic. The Health Minister emphasized that studies by WHO and ICMR suggest that the entire state of Kerala is susceptible to such infections, not just Kozhikode. Residents in forested areas are urged to take extra precautions, as the latest Nipah case originated within five kilometers of a jungle region.

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Additionally, four more wards in Kozhikode district have been designated as containment zones, in addition to the seven village panchayats already declared as such on Tuesday, highlighting the seriousness of the situation.

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