Nipah virus: Kerala is dealing with its fourth epidemic since 2018 of a virus that has no vaccination and kills up to 75% of people affected.
The spread of the deadly Nipah virus in Kerala’s Kozhikode district has forced the government to establish Covid era-style confinement zones in nine panchayats. After the state reported two fatalities from the brain-damaging virus, which causes respiratory distress and encephalitis, officials are scurrying to find high-risk connections. Five additional Nipah virus-infected individuals are receiving treatment in hospitals. This is the fourth epidemic of the Nipah virus in Kerala since the disease was first diagnosed in 2018.
Here are the most recent Nipah virus updates.
- The containment zones have been established within a five-kilometer radius of the residences of the two men who died of Nipah virus illness on August 30 and September 11.
- The state had submitted 11 additional samples to Pune’s National Institute of Virology for testing, which had returned negative findings for the virus, according to PTI, citing a source familiar with the situation.
- According to PTI, samples from another 15 persons on the high-risk contact list have also been sent for testing.
- A five-person team from the National Centre for Disease Control, RML Hospital, and NIMHANS has been stationed in Kerala to assess the situation and aid the state government in managing the Nipah virus.
- Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has provided the state with a monoclonal antibody to battle the deadly Nipah virus.
- Although its efficacy has not yet been scientifically verified, the antiviral is the government’s only choice for treating infections.
- Kerala Health Minister Veena George stated that the antiviral’s stability was addressed with a central expert group.
- A mobile BSL-3 (Biosafety Level-3) laboratory was also dispatched to ground zero to examine samples for the virus.
- The Kerala government has chosen to collect bodily fluid samples from everyone on the ‘high-risk’ contact list associated with the first Nipah victim.
- The Rajasthan government has instructed medical authorities to be “alert” in the wake of Nipah cases reported in Kerala.