Nipah scare: Karnataka issues circular for districts bordering Kerala

Amid the Nipah scare in Kerala, the Karnataka government on Thursday issued a circular to strengthen surveillance in the border districts. Kerala has so far recorded five cases of Nipah virus out of which two patients have died. All cases have been recorded in Kozhikode.

In the circular, the Karnataka government said that in view of four confirmed Nipah cases with two deaths in Kozhikode, the state surveillance activities in the districts boarding Kerala need to be intensified to prevent the transmission of the infection.

Also Read: Nipah outbreak in Kerala: 5 cases, over 700 people on contact list, educational institutions shut for 2 days; see top updates

Nipah virus: Key actions advised to districts to prevent transmission

  • Avoid unnecessary travel of the general public from Karnataka to the affected area of Kerala.
  • Setting up check posts for fever surveillance at the point of entry from Karnataka to Kerala.
  • Intensify fever surveillance in the bordering districts such as Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Kodaga, and Dakshin Kannada.

Earlier today, the ICMR’s National Institute of Virology in Pune sent its mobile BSL-3 laboratory to Kozhikode to test samples for Nipah virus. A team of experts from the Department of Animal Husbandry has also been deployed to assist the state in the surveillance of animals, official sources told PTI. 

Samples will be collected from bats to check for the presence of the Nipah virus. The brain-damaging virus has killed two people and infected three others in Kozhikode district so far. On Wednesday, a 24-year-old health worker became Kerala’s fifth confirmed Nipah case since its recent outbreak. 

“The ICMR’s mBSL-3, which is the first biosafety level-3 containment mobile laboratory of South Asia, has been stationed at Kozhikode. It will help in early testing and detection of the infection at the district itself,” an official told the news agency. 

So far, the samples were being sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune. The mobile laboratory was set up in February last year to investigate newly emerging and reemerging viral infections that are highly infectious and of lethal potential to human beings. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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