In response to the recent Nipah outbreak in northern Kerala, educational institutions in the area will be closed on Thursday and Friday, as announced by Kozhikode District Collector A Geetha in a Facebook post. Geetha also mentioned that schools can arrange online classes for students during this period. University exams will proceed as scheduled. On Wednesday, a 24-year-old health worker became the fifth confirmed Nipah case in Kerala during this outbreak.
In the neighboring district of Wayanad, a 24-hour control room has been established in response to the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode. Additionally, Wayanad district administration has formed 15 core committees to lead prevention and surveillance efforts and effectively manage emergencies.
The Nipah virus strain detected in the state is the Bangladesh variant, which spreads from person to person and has a high mortality rate, although it is less contagious, according to government sources. State Health Minister Veena George reported that the condition of all 76 individuals classified as high-risk contacts remains stable. Thirteen others with mild symptoms are under hospital monitoring, with only a 9-year-old child among the infected currently in the Intensive Care Unit.
To treat the child, the government has ordered monoclonal antibodies from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). This treatment is currently the only available antiviral treatment for Nipah virus infection, although it has not yet been clinically proven.
A review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was conducted in response to the outbreak of this brain-damaging virus. Following the meeting, Health Minister George assured the public that all necessary preventive measures are in place, and there is no need for panic. She also cited WHO and ICMR studies indicating that the entire state of Kerala is susceptible to such infections, not just Kozhikode. People residing in forested areas must exercise extreme caution, as the most recent Nipah case was identified within five kilometers of a jungle area.
Furthermore, in addition to the containment zones announced on Tuesday, four more wards (three in Villyapally panchayat and one in Purameri panchayat) in Kozhikode district have been declared as containment zones due to the seriousness of the disease.
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