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Nipah Virus Resurfaces, Prompting School Closures in Kerala; Alerts in Rajasthan and Karnataka

A new case of Nipah virus infection has been confirmed in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, raising concerns about the resurgence of the deadly virus. The state health minister’s office announced that a 39-year-old man has tested positive for the Nipah virus. He had been under observation in a hospital after seeking treatment at a private hospital where previous Nipah cases had been treated for other ailments. This latest case brings the total number of Nipah cases in Kozhikode to six.

Key Points:

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has supplied the requested antibodies to Kerala to combat the Nipah virus. A mobile laboratory from the ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune was sent to Kozhikode to facilitate on-site testing of virus samples.
  • A five-member central team, including experts from the National Centre for Disease Control, RML Hospital, and NIMHANS, has been deployed in Kerala to assess the situation and support the state government in managing the Nipah infection.
  • Authorities plan to collect samples from bats to determine the presence of the virus, as bats are known to be carriers.
  • The district administration in Kozhikode declared a holiday for educational institutions, extending it to three days, as a precautionary measure.
  • The Kerala health minister emphasized the need for vigilance in neighboring districts like Kannur, Wayanad, and Malappuram.
  • Approximately 11 wards in Kozhikode district have been designated as containment zones.

In response to the Nipah cases in Kerala, the Rajasthan government has issued alerts and directed medical officials to remain vigilant. Medical colleges, district health officers, and health workers have been advised to stay alert regarding any potential Nipah outbreaks.

The resurgence of the Nipah virus has raised concerns reminiscent of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting precautionary measures and vigilance in multiple Indian states.