A central team will reach Kerala on Monday to carry out field investigations in the Kozhikode district, where six Nipah virus cases have been detected in this outbreak of the disease, reported The Hindu.
The team from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying will submit daily reports and give advise on measures to prevent the disease keeping the “one health” approach in mind. According to the World Health Organisation, “one health” is an integrated and unifying approach that aims to sustainably optimise the health of people, animals and ecosystems.
Another four-member central team has been conducting surveys since Thursday to trace the source of the infection. State Health Minister Veena George stated that the team was also surveying areas hit by 2018 Nipah outbreak to look for any ecological changes there.
Kerala currently has four active cases of the Nipah virus, a zoonotic illness transferred from animals such as pigs and fruit bats to humans. The virus can also be caught through human-to-human transmission.
The disease causes fever and cold-like symptoms in patients. In some cases, the infection can cause encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart.
The virus has resulted in two deaths in the state so far – one in August and another this month.
This has prompted the Kerala government to declare nine panchayats in Kozhikode district as containment zones. In these areas, only shops selling essential goods will be allowed to function from 7 am to 5 pm. However, no curfew timing has been announced for pharmacies and health centres.
The Kozhikode district administration has announced that all educational institutions will run in online mode until further notice.
Health Minister George said on Monday that health workers have intensified prevention activities, reported India Today. They visited 11,959 houses on Sunday and 34,617 houses in total in the wards included in the containment zones. So far, 1,233 contacts have been traced and of them, 352 are in the high-risk category.