KOZHIKODE: As the death toll due to the suspected Nipah virus infection rose to six in the district, the focus has now shifted towards strengthening the preventive mechanism to arrest its spread. A team of experts led by National Centre for Disease Control director Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh on Monday visited the regions where the deadly virus outbreak was reported.
Singh said all possible precautionary measures are already in place and the situation is under control. “Bats in the region are suspected to be the root cause of the virus. Three persons of a family, who succumbed to Nipah virus initially, were believed to have contracted the disease after drinking water from a well inhabited by bats. However, we can reach a final conclusion only after a detailed lab test on the bats. The bats will be sent for lab test,” he said.
Meanwhile, the death toll rose to six after a staff nurse who treated a patient infected by the virus at Perambra Taluk Hospital succumbed to the infection at the Medical College Hospital here.
The deceased was identified as Lini P N, 31, a native of Chempanoda in Kozhikode.
Nine more persons who showed similar symptoms of the same virus infection are in critical condition at various hospitals in the city. The presence of the fatal virus has been confirmed in the body fluid of two more persons. With the latest revelation, the number of persons infected by the virus rose to five. Of the total, three have died while two are undergoing treatment at hospitals. Yet another 60 persons who had close contact with the virus-infected are now under observation of health officers. However, Nipah infection is yet to be confirmed on three persons who died of similar symptoms.
‘Virus not spread by migrants’
Health Minister K K Shylaja denied the possibility of the virus entering the state through migrant workers. She said no cases were reported among migrant workers.The clarification came in the wake of messages on social media suggesting the disease was spread by migrant labourers.The minister advised people not to fall for such messages.
AIIMS team on the way
A team from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences will visit the district on Tuesday
The Health Minister said the team will review the situation
Two more staff nurses, identified as Shiji and Jishna of EMS Cooperative Hospital, Perambra, were admitted to the Medical College Hospital as they showed symptoms of Nipah virus. However, the disease has not been confirmed yet
The state government will bear the treatment expenses of the infected people. The government will also consider providing financial assistance to the families of the victims
6 Death toll
9 Under treatment
5 Cases of Nipah virus confirmed
60 Under observation
State-level control room
Due to the outbreak of Nipah virus, the Health Department on Monday appointed a state nodal officer (Dr Amar Fettle) for coordinating prevention activities. The department also opened a state-level control room for providing information on Nipah virus infection.
The contact numbers are: 9447460345, 9539072275,9539078400, 9946102860, 9846021483