IMA Dismisses Nipah Threat, Says Kerala is Safe

Besides 1,353 persons who had interacted with the affected before the confirmation of the disease are under observation

While the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday had released data that suggests the Nipah virus has so far claimed that the virus has so far claimed 16 lives and as many as 753 suspected cases are under observation after experiencing similar symptoms.

Rasil, a native of Kozhikode who died on Thursday is suspected to have contracted the virus from Ismail, another Nipah victim.

Besides, officials have asked those people who made contact with the two, who died due to Nipah, to get in touch with the cell. Earlier samples of cattle, goats, pigs, insect bats were also tested negative.

"Almost 2,000 people have been reported to have come in contact with the affected and, therefore, this figure might go up".

To avoid more loss of life due to the rapidly spreading Nipah virus which has already taken 17 lives in the last two weeks, the authorities have chose to put 1407 people under quarantine in their own homes mainly in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. Among the patients hospitalised, two patients were tested positive, while six more people were reportedly admitted to Kozhikode hospital with the symptoms.

The multi-disciplinary central team led by director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and comprising experts from NCDC, AIIMS, Safdarjung hospital, EMR division, NIV Pune is constantly monitoring the situation of the Nipah virus disease and supporting the state health authorities in managing the outbreak.

District Collector of the state has been instructed to submit a status report on June 6. Meanwhile, Health Minister K K Shylaja has said that an all- party meeting would be convened on June 4 to review the situation. To find out the source of the virus, a number of samples from a particular variety of bats were taken, but they turned out to be negative. "As per the reports received, all are safe and keeping fine", he said. ICMR is the top body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research in India.

The ICMR had written to the Queensland government in Australia asking it to provide the antibody developed there to test if it can neutralise the virus in humans. Other states are also on alert.



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