Nipah Virus Continues to Spread in Kerala: Latest Updates
Another person tested positive for the Nipah Virus in Kerala’s Kozhikode on Friday, raising the total number of infected individuals in the state to six. Among these cases, four are currently active, while the remaining two sadly succumbed to the virus earlier. The Nipah Virus has made its presence felt in Kerala for the fourth time, prompting the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to request 20 additional doses of an antibody vaccine from Australia. This virus exhibits a considerably higher mortality rate, ranging between 40% and 70%, in contrast to COVID-19, which had a mortality rate of 2-3%.
All Educational Institutes Shut in Kozhikode till Sept 24
The state government has taken a decisive step in response to the Nipah outbreak, announcing the closure of all educational institutes in Kerala’s Kozhikode until September 24. This order applies to schools, professional colleges, tuition centers, and other educational institutions within the district. This action follows the confirmation of six Nipah virus infections in the region.
India to Acquire 20 More Doses of Anti-body Vaccine from Australia; Nipah Mortality Rate Very High
India has reached out to Australia to procure an additional 20 doses of monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Nipah virus infection, as disclosed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Rajeev Bahl. Given the recurring Nipah outbreaks and the elevated mortality rate compared to COVID-19, the ICMR is also considering the development of a vaccine against this viral disease. Rajeev Bahl emphasized that while they received some doses of monoclonal antibody from Australia in 2018, these doses are presently available for only 10 patients. He further noted that globally, monoclonal antibody treatment has been administered to 14 Nipah virus patients outside India, and all of them have survived. Bahl highlighted that the medicine must be administered during the early stages of the infection and is categorized as compassionate use medicine.
Bahl also reiterated the alarming mortality rate associated with Nipah, ranging from 40% to 70%, in stark contrast to the 2-3% mortality rate of COVID-19.
Kerala HC Directs State Govt to Issue Guidelines for Sabarimala Pilgrimage
The Kerala High Court has intervened in light of the Nipah outbreak and directed the state government to issue guidelines, if deemed necessary, for the pilgrimage to Sabarimala when it opens for the monthly puja. The court has tasked the Travancore Devaswom Board commissioner with holding discussions with the health secretary to make an informed decision on the matter.
One More Person Infected, Takes Total Nipah Cases To 6
A 39-year-old man has tested positive for the Nipah virus, which he contracted through direct contact with an infected person who passed away on August 30. State Health Minister Veena George confirmed this new case on Friday. With this development, the number of active Nipah cases has risen to four, and the state government has initiated widespread testing of individuals on the high-risk contact list of the infected persons. George noted that the man’s samples turned positive, bringing the total number of infected individuals in the state to six, with two previous fatalities.
Karnataka Govt Issues Guidelines After Neighboring Kerala’s Nipah Outbreak
The Karnataka government has issued guidelines for its residents following the Nipah outbreak in neighboring Kerala. These guidelines include advising against unnecessary travel to the affected areas of Kerala and intensifying fever surveillance in districts bordering Kerala. The government also recommends training health staff and preparing beds at district hospitals for quarantining suspected cases. Immediate action is expected from all districts within Karnataka to prevent the transmission of the Nipah virus disease at all levels.
(With PTI inputs)
Tags: Nipah Virus, Kerala, Outbreak, India, Vaccine, Monoclonal Antibody, ICMR, Education, Sabarimala Pilgrimage, Karnataka, Guidelines