Possibility of Nipah virus presence in bats in Wayanad: Kerala govt
Thiruvananthapuram | Citing an ICMR report, the Kerala government on Wednesday said that there was a possibility of Nipah virus presence in bats in Wayanad district of the state.
State Health Minister Veena George said that the Indian Council of Medical Research gave this information based on its studies of the bat samples collected by it.
The minister said that it does not mean there were fresh cases of the virus in that district and was only intended to caution and alert the state's health system and the general public.
She said that not only in Wayanad, there was a possibility of the virus' presence in bats in other districts also.
George was speaking to reporters about the current status of the Nipah outbreak in the state which had infected six people in Kozhikode district last month and of whom two had died.
The minister said that all those people who were on the contact list of those infected had completed their isolation and quarantine periods.
She also said that it was a matter of pride that the state was able to restrict Nipah's mortality rate, which is around 70-90 per cent, to 33 per cent.
The minister also referred to the various measures, like issuance of Kozhikode-specific standard operating protocols (SOPs), taken by the government to combat the virus.
Additionally, a Kerala One Health Centre for Nipah Research has also been created, she said.
Presently, there will be a consolidation of the field activities of all departments with regard to public health and will be a part of the Kozhikode Medical College, the minister said.
However, moving forward, the intention is to develop it as an independent research institute with its own infrastructure, she said.
Of the two deaths due to Nipah, the first person who died on August 30 was found to be the index case, or patient zero, from whom others caught the infection.
The outbreak of the virus this year was the fourth in the state since 2018.