News Brief

Kerala declares Nipah-hit districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram free from the virus

Health Minister KK Shailaja said no new cases have been reported since June 1.

The Kerala government has declared Kozhikode and Malappuram free of the Nipah virus, which killed 17 people in the two districts, PTI reported. The state’s Health Minister KK Shailaja made the announcement at an event on Sunday to felicitate medical teams and volunteers who worked to contain the virus.

“A decision to declare both districts as nipah-virus-free was taken by the government as no fresh cases have been reported after June 1,” Shailaja said.

The minister also felicitated Sajeesh, husband of 28-year-old nurse Lini Puthuserry, who contracted the infection and died while attending to patients at a hospital in Kozhikode.

Shailaja gave awards to the collectors of Kozhikode and Malapurram districts and Manipal Virology Institute director G Arunkumar among others. Dr AS Anoop Kumar of a city hospital got a special award for his efforts to identify and prevent the virus outbreak.

Nipah is a virus that can be transferred from animals to humans. It causes fever and cold-like symptoms in its patients that quickly advances to encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. There is no vaccine or cure for Nipah infections at present.

On June 11, the state government lifted a travel advisory it had issued after the outbreak, and said it was safe to travel to any part of Kerala. Educational institutions were reopened the same day.

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