Karnataka: Travellers from Nipah affected areas to be screened for 18 days if they exhibit flu-like symptoms

Travellers from Nipah affected areas -- Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala  to be screened. The decision was taken after two suspected cases of Nipah were reported from Mangaluru.

Published: 22nd May 2018 08:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2018 08:52 PM   |  A+A-

People shopping in Perambra's supermarket, Kozhikode. (Photo | TP Sooraj)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The state health department has decided to screen travellers from Nipah affected areas -- Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala -- for 18 days if they exhibit flu-like symptoms, a circular issued by the department on Tuesday evening said. The decision was taken after two suspected cases of Nipah were reported from Mangaluru.

"Recently, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala have 96 suspected cases and six deaths of NiV (Nipah Virus Infection). Hence in this view, surveillance activity has to be strengthened," the circular said.

Under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme of the department, a number of public health activities needed to be strengthened at the district level, the order read.

It said that an interdepartmental coordination committee meeting should be convened immediately consisting of the Veterinary department, Indian Medical Association and Indian Academy of Paediatrics in districts neighbouring Kerala that are vulnerable to Nipah virus which include Chamarajanagara, Mysuru, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru.

The above mentioned districts have also been instructed to file a daily outbreak report of Nipah virus. "Identify two isolation beds to isolate suspected human cases. make sure all necessary logistics are available at all levels. All government and private institutions should monitor all vital parameters and take travel history of patients with flu-like symptoms," the order said.

Hospitals having an ICU with a ventilator should be identified and kept ready to receive emergencies, the circular said. District Rapid Response Teams should be ready to take immediate action, it read. Sensitising health assistants and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) regarding Nipah, following standard precautions when caring for patients with suspected or confirmed NiV and exercising precaution while handling suspected specimens are other instructions given by the department.

Circulating Dos and Don'ts among the public, following up suspected cases by 104 call centres and reporting the same to the Directorate of Health Services, and respective district health authorities are few other orders issued. National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, is the identified laboratory for diagnosis of Nipah virus and suspected samples should be referred there along with intimation to the Directorate, said the circular.

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