Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India]: Kerala Health Minister Veena George provided a significant update on the state’s response to the Nipah virus outbreak. As efforts to contain the virus continue, the Health Minister addressed the media, outlining key developments and strategies in place.
Minister Veena George began by highlighting the extensive efforts made to trace and identify individuals who may have come in contact with the infected individuals.
She stated, ‘Nineteen teams are actively working in the field today to trace contacts. We have nearly completed contact tracing, and the remaining contacts will be identified with the assistance of the police.’
The decision to involve the police stems from reports of individuals denying their presence in certain locations, even after being identified as potential contacts.
The Health Minister noted that utilizing CCTV footage would help establish more accurate contact tracing.
Central teams have been dispatched to the field, including experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Chennai and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.
These teams will investigate the epicentre of the 2018 Nipah outbreak, gathering crucial data and insights.
Minister Veena George also shared reassuring news regarding the health status of those currently under medical care.
She stated, ‘The individuals hospitalized are in stable condition. We are pleased to report that the condition of the baby affected by Nipah is also showing signs of improvement.’
One of the key aspects of containing the Nipah virus is identifying all individuals who may have had contact with the last person to test positive.
Minister Veena George emphasized the cautious approach taken, saying, ‘The normal incubation period for Nipah is 21 days, and we are being doubly cautious.’
To enhance understanding of the virus and its origins, a team from Pune is actively collecting samples from bats in the affected area.
Genomic sequencing of these samples will provide valuable insights into the virus’s genetic makeup and its potential transmission pathways.
The Health Minister’s update underscores the government’s commitment to swiftly and comprehensively address the Nipah virus situation in Kerala.
Authorities are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to contain the outbreak, trace contacts, and gather critical scientific data for a more informed response.
Public health remains the top priority as the state works diligently to manage this health challenge.