KOZHIKODE: The Kerala health department has identified 251 persons who have come in contact with the 12-year-old boy, who succumbed to Nipah virus infection, out of which 38 are in isolation at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital and of which 11 have shown symptoms, Health Minister Veena George said on Monday.
George, in a press meet here, said of the 251 contacts, 129 are healthcare workers. "There are 38 persons in isolation at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital of which 11 have shown symptoms. Samples of eight persons have been sent to Pune NIV for testing," the minister said, adding that the health condition of all those who have shown symptoms are stable.
She said of the 251 contacts, 54 are high risk contacts out of which 30 are healthcare workers. This includes parents and few close relatives of the child too. "These contacts were identified following strict protocol," she said.
She said the special laboratory set up at the medical college hospital here by the Pune NIV team, which reached the state in the afternoon, will start testing the samples from tonight.
A medical expert team has visited the house and locality of the child. Another team from the Animal Husbandry Department also inspected the locality.
"The blood and serum samples of the two goats, owned by the child's family, will be tested at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal," the Minister said, adding that a team from Bhopal NIV will reach Kozhikode on Wednesday.
George also informed that the COVID-19 vaccination drive in Kozhikode taluk has been halted for the next 48 hours. However, testing and other related activities will continue.
Special teams have been formed for a detailed collection of information from the locality of the child's house. "The team will collect every single detail from all the houses in the containment zone. One team has been assigned for every 25 houses," she said.
Earlier in the day, the state government had issued a Nipah management plan listing the health protocol to be followed by government and private hospitals.
The state health department has been on high alert after a 12-year-old boy from Kozhikode succumbed to Nipah virus infection on Sunday.
An area of three kilometre radius from the house of the deceased child has been declared as a containment zone. This includes wards from five panchayats.
The health department in four districts--Kozhikode, neighbouring Kannur, Malappuram and Wayanad districts have been put on high alert.