In fact, following directions of the Union Health Minister, a multi-disciplinary Central team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is presently in Kerala constantly reviewing the situation. The Central team includes Dr.Sujeet K Sing, Director, NCDC; Dr. S K Jain, Head Epidemiology, NCDC; Dr. P Ravindran, Director, Emergency Medical Relief (EMR);Dr Naveen Gupta, Head Zoonosis, NCDC; Dr Ashutosh Biswas, Prof Internal Medicine, AIIMS; Dr. Deepak Bhattacharya, Pulmonologist, Safdarjung Hospital along with two clinicians and one expert from Ministry of Animal Husbandry.
The NCDC team visited the house in Perambra from where the initial death was reported. The team found many bats housed in the well from where the family was drawing water. Some bats have been caught and have been sent for lab examination to confirm whether they are the cause of the disease or not. 60 different samples have been collected from the spot and sent for examination. There are two confirmed cases with history of contact with the index case. They were admitted in the Calicut Medical College Hospital and died due to Nipah virus.
The Ministry has mobilized a public health team from NCDC Branch Kozhikode to assess the extent of problem, for risk assessment and risk management. They are assisting the State Level Team already deployed at the epicentre. So far, seven patients have been admitted in Baby Memorial Hospital and in the Govt. Medical College at Kozhikode and at the Amrutha Medical College, Ernakulum.
Union Minister for Health, J P Nadda has urged citizens not to believe in rumours posted on social media and not to spread panic. A total of nine individuals are currently under treatment. Isolation wards have been opened in many hospitals in Kozhikode. Hospitals in public and private sector have been provided with personal protective equipment. Appropriate steps to contain this virus have been taken among domestic animals such as pigs. Since all the contacts are under observation and steps to avoid exposure through animal vectors have been taken there is no reason for people to panic. This appears to be a localisedoccurrence.
With early and efficient containment measures undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Government of Kerala, the outbreak is unlikely to spread. The Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratory at Manipal Hospital and the National Institute of Virology, apremier institute for research in virology, are geared up to meet any diagnostic challenges that may arise.
Also as a prompt and proactive step Kerala Tourism Industry has swung into action to spread awareness about the safe travel conditions in the state and nipping any collateral damage due to rumours centred around the reported NIPAH virus instances.
“It is seen that a blown-up fear and concern is being spread among the tourists and travelers to Kerala from other states in the country and Overseas. It is seen that some sources have issued advisories to the people alerting them not to travel to Kerala. They are projecting the Nipah Virus attack in Kerala as a major epidemic that is dangerous to the visitors. Important tourism originating states for Kerala are being influenced by the fear, and that could eventually affect our Tourism Industry. The fear, to a great extend is baseless,” said E M Najeeb, President, CKTI and Sr. Vice President, IATO.
“It is a fact that there was an outbreak of Nipah Virus transmitted from fruit bats at certain place in Kerala. The health Ministry of Kerala and all related authorities have taken the best precaution to contain this situation and now this is seen being under control,” he added.
The Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry (CKTI) wishes to convey to all in the Tourism Industry within and outside the country that the concern is now projected larger than the reality. All the tourist locations and the state in general are safe as usual for holiday activities. The Tourism Industry partners in the state are more vigilant and equipped to provide a hassle-free holiday to the visiting travelers. The airports, railway stations, hotels and places of visit all are following the right protocols and are free of problems as usual. For Tourism the destination is as normal as usual.
News Update|24May2018| Nipah virus disease is not a major outbreak: Experts
After reviewing the cases of all the patients who have lost their lives, the Central High-level Team is of the view that the Nipah virus disease is not a major outbreak and is only a local occurrence. The Team has also further fine-tuned the draft guidelines, case definitions, advisory for healthcare workers, information to the general public, advisories for sample collection and transportation accordingly.
The Central Team held meetings with the District Collectors and the medical and para-medical staff of the hospitals on 24 May 2018 also to review the condition of the admitted patients and to consider further course of action to be taken to prevent the disease from spreading. The efforts taken so far for containment of the disease have been fruitful as the disease has not spread to new areas. The contact tracing strategy adopted has also been successful. It has been found that all the reported cases including the suspected cases had direct or indirect contact with the first casualty/his family prior to contacting the disease.
Details of cases and deaths, as on 24.5.2018, are as under:
Total number of confirmed cases: 14
Total number of suspected cases: 20
Total number of deaths: 12 (9 from Kozhikode and 3 from Malappuram)