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Kerala heaves sigh of relief as all high-risk contacts of Nipah deceased negative

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By NS Desk 07-Sep-2021

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 7 (IANS) All the eight samples of those who were the primary contacts of the 12-year-old boy, who died due to Nipah virus, have turned out negative, said Kerala Health Minister Veena George.

The samples of the boy's parents and the health professionals who came in close contact with the boy while being in treatment are all negative. Three samples of each of the eight people were tested at NIV Pune," said George.

It was on Sunday the 12-year-old boy died following the Nipah virus attack and it was not until he was taken to three different hospitals in a period of 10 days.

Soon after the boy tested positive for Nipah, the health department got into action and identified around 251 people who were in direct or indirect contact. From that list, 54 were short-listed as high risk contacts and of these eight samples, who showed symptoms of fever, were sent for testing at the NIV Pune lab.

Others, who had no symptoms, have been asked to go into isolation and they continue to be in isolation in three districts -- Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram.

A central team of health officials besides a team from NIV Pune are now at Kozhikode and along with the Kerala Health officials are overseeing all the activities and by now 317 health professionals have been given training in handling Nipah, in case an emergency arises.

A team of Kerala Veterinary officials are also camping in the district overseeing examination of animals, especially the bats, which are considered to be the source of infection and for that samples have been also collected and send for examination.

Meanwhile, the ICMR officials have promised a fresh supply of monoclonal antibodies from Australia, which is expected to reach Kozhikode in the coming days and this is used for treatment.

The state health department has set up a separate laboratory for primary testing facility, besides opening a full fledged Nipah ward at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital as a matter of beefing up the treatment facilities.

A statewide Nipah management treatment plan has also been formulated and this is being done with the help of the Centre.

The last time the state had an attack of Nipah was in 2018, when 17 people lost their lives.

--IANS

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