Health Minister allays fears, govt sets up 24x7 health screening camps at TN-Kerala border points
Health department sources said all government hospitals and private hospitals have been instructed to report details of fever patients to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal.
COIMBATORE/CHENNAI: Health Minister Ma Subramaniam on Wednesday allayed fears about the chances of the Nipah virus spreading in Tamil Nadu. Addressing media persons at Nilgiris, a day after Nipah deaths were confirmed in neighbouring Kerala, the minister said the health department has started to screen people entering the state from Kerala at border checkposts in six districts including Coimbatore, Tenkasi and Kanniyakumari.
“Treatment will be given to people who show fever symptoms and people in Tamil Nadu need not fear the virus,” the minister said. He visited Gudalur to lay the foundation stone for a 200-bed block on the Gudalur taluk hospital premises.
“Based on the Chief Minister MK Stalin’s order, The state government has taken up construction of 25 district headquarters hospitals including the six newly upgraded district headquarters hospitals at a total cost of `1100 crore,” the minister said.
According to sources in the health department fever surveillance commenced at Walayar on the TN- Kerala border and medical camps were being conducted through Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam volunteers in villages along the Kerala border.
Health department sources said all government hospitals and private hospitals have been instructed to report details of fever patients to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal. “If patients present with symptoms of Acute Encephalitis syndrome should report to the health department,” said P Aruna Deputy Director of Health Services.
Officials on high alert
Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine briefed all deputy directors of health services on the prevention and control of Nipah virus infection, stepping up vigil in the districts bordering Kerala.
In his circular, Dr. T S Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, instructed all the deputy directors of health services (DDHS) to deploy health teams at border check posts that work round the clock to screen all symptomatic cases, and provide them with the protective equipment required.
Tenkasi district administration begins round-the-clock fever screening at Kerala border
TENKASI: After Kerala reported two cases of Nipah virus deaths, the district administration began a round-the-clock fever screening centre at the Puliyarai check post on Wednesday.
District Collector D Ravichandran and Deputy Director (DD) of Health Service PR Muralisankar inspected the ongoing screening works. "Three teams of health inspectors and domestic breeding checkers are checking the body temperatures of passengers and drivers of buses, cars, vans, and trucks. Those who have a fever are being referred to government hospitals (GHs), where the staff has been requested to update the DDs if they are treating any fever cases in the district," said an official.
In a letter to the DDs on Wednesday, the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said health teams should be deployed at border check posts 24x7 to screen all symptomatic cases with necessary protective equipment, especially in The Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur, Theni, Tenkasi and Kanniyakumari.
"Strengthen the surveillance on Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (fever with altered sensorium) (AES). People with symptoms of AES admitted from the border districts of Kerala, especially from Kozhikode and Malappuram, should be followed up. The government and major private hospitals should be alerted to the Nipah virus outbreak and instructed to ensure timely notification of AES cases to the district surveillance officers through the IDSP-IHIP portal," the letter read.
Fever, altered mental status, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion, diarrhoea
In infected people, Nipah virus causes severe illness characterised by inflammation of the brain or respiratory diseases
Measures of prevention
Wash hands with soap and water after coming in contact with a sick person/animal
Avoid consuming raw date palm sap or toddy
Consume only washed fruits
Avoid consuming half eaten fruits
Handling of dead bodies should be done in accordance with the government advisory
Source: Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine