Kerala getting ready for 2nd wave of Nipah outbreak

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State Health Minister KK Shailaja complimented the medical teams of the Centre, state and the private sectors for effectively containing the outbreak.

"As a precautionary measure, it has been chose to further postpone the reopening of schools and colleges and holding of examinations", Shailaja said.

"We had indicated at the outset itself, there could be a possible second outbreak and the vulnerable are those who would have in come in contact with the affected".

The confirmation on whether fruit-eating Bats are the carriers of the Nipah Virus will hopefully be known today. Till now, 16 of the 18 people have been tested positive for Nipah virus and have died in a short span of time. The condition of the other two patients is stable.

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A senior official said Saturday that people in these two districts have been asked to stay away from crowded places like markets as a precautionary measure. The Nipah outbreak toll touched 17 on Thursday, with the death of a 25-year-old man. The concerned people were reportedly in the contact list of those who have fallen victims to the deadly virus.

On Friday, six more persons in Kozhikode were admitted to hospital with symptoms of Nipah, Saritha said. Both were undergoing treatment at the state-run hospital at Balussery near here.

Earlier, the district collector had informed that the schools in Kozhikode and Malappuram district will reopen on June 5. Meanwhile, Health Minister K K Shylaja has said that an all- party meeting would be convened on June 4 to review the situation.

With the spread of Nipah virus in the District, very few people are stepping out in public areas despite the busy Ramadan month. To find out the source of the virus, a number of samples from a particular variety of bats were taken, but they turned out to be negative. The report quoted him adding that since the number of infected fruit bats are "very few" at a given time, it becomes hard to find the actual source of infection.

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The state has obtained about 50 doses of the antibody with the help of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country's apex body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, and the World Health Organisation. A decision in this regard will be taken after discussions, " said Dr R L Saritha, director of health services.

Union health ministry has issued a health advisory saying it's localised and there is no need to panic.

National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is monitoring the situation in various states through the Integrated Disease Control Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network.

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