In response to confirmed Nipah virus cases in Kozhikode, the Kerala Health Department has issued an alert for neighboring districts, including Kannur, Wayanad, and Malappuram. Health Minister Veena George has assured the availability of monoclonal antibodies for Nipah patients in a private hospital, with samples sent to Pune Institute of Virology for confirmation.
Stringent containment efforts are underway, including contact tracing and surveillance. An emergency meeting involving officials, ministers, and district representatives was convened to evaluate the situation. A Nipah control room has been established in Kozhikode, with provided contact numbers.
Minister Veena George visited Kozhikode Medical College to assess arrangements and ensure the availability of PPE kits, N95 masks, and medical staff. The Kozhikode district collector declared several Grama Panchayat wards as containment zones.
Currently, two active Nipah cases are reported in the district, involving a nine-year-old and a 24-year-old relative of the deceased. The Central government has dispatched a team of health experts to assist, as these “unnatural deaths” were confirmed as Nipah virus-related.
This Nipah virus outbreak follows previous incidents in Kozhikode and Malappuram in 2018 and a 2021 case in Kozhikode. Nipah virus, transmitted by fruit bats, presents symptoms such as respiratory illness, fever, muscular pain, headache, dizziness, and nausea, and can be fatal to humans and animals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).