Mysuru alerts over Nipah virus in Kerala


Team Udayavani, May 23, 2018, 2:42 PM IST

Mysuru: Deaths due to the dangerous Nipah virus in Kerala have sounded warning bells for the Centre and State health authorities. But Mysuru, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar districts have also been alerted by this since scores of tourists from Kerala visit the major tourist destinations in the districts almost every day.

On Tuesday, the district administration spoke about taking precautionary measures, including establishment of isolation wards in K.R. Hospital, Cheluvamba Hospital and Epidemic Diseases Hospital. Other private hospitals have been directed to set aside at least five beds for emergency treatment of patients with flu-like symptoms. There have been no suspected cases of the virus in the district so far.

Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar held a meeting with health authorities of the district and reviewed the preventive measures suggested. He said in the meeting that material for educating the public about the infection will be made available at all hospitals and also in prominent tourist spots. The material will be printed in Kannada, Malayalam and English. Kodagu, Chamarajanagar, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts have also been alerted of the possibilities.

Sankar has also asked school and college authorities to create awareness among students about the virus and educate them about the preventative measures. He said that awareness, case detection and symptomatic treatment with standardized procedures will be carried out in hospitals. If symptoms persist even after treatment is administered, the patient will be isolated and kept under observation.

Since the infection can spread from fruit bats to pigs, Sankar said that pig owners were instructed to take precautions, especially to take care not to feed discarded and rotten fruits to pigs. He also said that fruits like papaya, chiku and mango that have bite marks on it should not be eaten as they may have been bitten by bats. He also added that fresh fruits without any marks as such could be eaten, but it was advisable to not consume fruits sold on the streets. The HOPCOMs had also been instructed to discard waste fruits safely.

District Vector-Born Diseases Control Officer S. Chidambara said that there is no prescribed treatment for the Nipah infection. But if a patient is not given immediate treatment after contracting the virus, the patient could get encephalitis and probably slip into coma.

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