THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stressed the need to develop a mechanism for enhanced surveillance of Nipah Virus (NiV) in the state. The instruction has come in the wake of the recent NiV outbreak and the one that occurred last year.
Union Joint Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) Lav Agarwal wrote to state Principal Secretary (Health) Rajan Khobragade stressing the need to set up such a mechanism with the help of the local Animal Husbandry and the Wildlife Departments respectively. The facility, as per the letter, will help to map the hot spots of infection and thereby provide early warning signals to the public health authorities to initiate preventive measures.
“There is a need to increase the awareness among the public about models of transmissions of NiV and to take precautionary measures,” reads an excerpt from the letter. The other major recommendation in the letter is to increase the fever and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) surveillance concerning NiV infection in human in health facilities and capacity building of all concerned. Besides, the ministry is coordinating with state government to strengthen surveillance of humans and animals, according to the missive.