Kerala Initiates Nipah Virus Surveillance Study; Restrictions Eased in Kozhikode District

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, has directed the Health Department to conduct a detailed surveillance study on the Nipah virus. This decision comes as the state aims to monitor the situation closely.


In Kozhikode district, the Disaster Management Department has relaxed restrictions due to the absence of new Nipah virus cases. Shops and establishments within containment zones are allowed to operate until 8 pm, while banks can function until 2 pm, following Nipah protocol guidelines such as mask and sanitizer usage, social distancing, and strict crowd control.


The District Collector emphasized that individuals on the contact list and under observation should adhere to quarantine guidelines as prescribed by the Health Department.


Health Minister Veena George reported that no new Nipah virus cases have been detected in the state, with 61 samples from high-risk contacts, including healthcare workers, testing negative. The Nipah strain in Kerala is identified as the Indian Genotype, similar to the strain in Bangladesh.


Kerala has had six confirmed Nipah virus cases, resulting in two fatalities, while four individuals, including a nine-year-old boy, remain under treatment. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted studies indicating the potential for Nipah outbreaks in Kerala and eight other Indian states.


The source of Nipah infection in Kerala has been linked to bats. Kerala has identified two strains of Nipah Virus: the Malaysian strain and the strain from Bangladesh.”

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