Nadda rushes Central team to check Nipah virus in Kerala

New Delhi: The Central government on Monday assured all support to the Kerala government and sent a Central team to check the outbreak of the Nipah virus (NiV) that has taken three lives while eight patients are under intensive care.

“We are closely monitoring the situation. I have also dispatched a Central team to assist the state government and initiate required steps,” Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda said in a statement from Geneva.

In view of the rising number of cases and reported deaths due to the Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala, the Minister assured all support and directed a multi-disciplinary Central team from the National Centre for Disease Control to immediately visit the district.

Nadda said he had a talk with Union Minister of State for Tourism Alphons Kannathanam and Kerala Health Minister K. Shailaja. Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan also spoke to the Kerala Principal Health Secretary and reviewed the situation.

In a tweet late on Sunday, Nadda said, “Reviewed the situation of deaths related to Nipah virus in Kerala with Secretary Health. I have directed Director NCDC to visit the district and initiate required steps as warranted by the protocol for the disease in consultation with state government.”

Nipah virus (NiV), spread by fruit bats that infects both animals and humans, has claimed the lives of two brothers and their aunt in Perambara in Kozhikode district within a few weeks, and now eight more people are under close observation.

Transmission of NiV takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from other NiV-infected people.

The Central team that will reach Kerala later on Monday includes Sujeet K. Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); S.K. Jain, Head Epidemiology, NCDC; P. Ravindran, Director, Emergency Medical Relief (EMR); Naveen Gupta, Head Zoonosis, NCDC along with two clinicians and one expert from the Ministry of Animal Husbandry.

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