Panic gripped the state of Kerala after the outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus on the Malabar coast. So far, the virus has already caused 12 deaths in the state in southern India. As Kerala was put on high alert, a central government team was dispatched to the affected regions to initiate the required steps.
The Central government ordered a team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), including its director, Dr. Sujeet Kumar Singh and Head of Epidemiology, Dr. SK Jain to head to Kerala to ascertain the impact and spread of the virus.
"We are closely monitoring the situation. I have also dispatched a Central team to assist the state government and initiate required steps," Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda said in a statement.
Should other states be worried?
The Tamil Nadu state government issued travel advisories for people traveling to Kozhikode district, where at least 10 deaths had been reported due to the virus. Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Tamil Nadu, Dr. K Kolandaswamy asked travelers to be extremely cautious and not to be in contact with the infected or even eat raw fruits without washing or peeling, The Times of India reported.
"Officials in Kerala have told us that standard infection control practices and proper barrier nursing techniques are undertaken preventing hospital-acquired infections. This should take care of spread from one person to another," Kolandaswamy was quoted as saying by TOI.
The Tamil Nadu state health secretary J. Radhakrishnan stated that the state health department has been in touch with the Kerala health department in the wake of Nipah virus, as per a report by Deccan Chronicle.
We have cautioned all the district health ministries to be on an alert and keep a check on any symptoms of the dreaded virus. No need to panic or be anxious as the cases have not been reported in Tamil Nadu so far, the awareness and alert is a precautionary measure.
Although there has been news circulating across social media about the state of Goa also being put on alert, the deputy director of health Dr. Jose D'Sa clarified saying no alert had been received thus far from the NCDC. The health official, however, added that the state is vigilant, TOI reported.