After a 12-year-old boy died due to Nipah virus in Kerala, Tamil Nadu on Sunday increased surveillance in nine border districts, PTI reported. Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian told reporters that officials have been asked to conduct thermal screening of those coming to these districts.
Nipah is a virus that can be transferred from animals to humans. It causes fever and cold-like symptoms in patients before quickly advancing to encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart.
Subramanian said that the Tamil Nadu government was conducting door-to-door awareness campaigns in the nine districts about the spread of the Nipah virus. “We have issued an advisory to district health officials to expedite measures like holding fever camps,” he added.
State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said citizens who come to Tamil Nadu from Kerala were being screened for Covid-19, Nipah and Zika virus. “People need not panic about the Nipah virus,” he said. “But at the same time they should not show negligence.”
Two health workers, who were among the close contacts of the child who died on Sunday, have also shown symptoms of the Nipah virus in Kerala. In May 2018, an outbreak of the virus in Kerala had claimed 17 lives.
On Sunday evening, a team of health officials sent by the Centre visited Kozhikode district where the 12-year-old boy had died, the Hindustan Times reported.
The team from the National Centre for Diseases Control met the boy’s family and collected samples of a fruit to identify the source of the infection.
Kerala’s health department has also released a route map with details of the persons who came in contact with the boy and the places he visited after being infected, The News Minute reported. State Health Minister Veena George said that 188 primary contacts of the child have been identified, of which 20 were in the high-risk category.