The number of Nipah infections in Kozhikode increased to five on Wednesday after a health worker tested positive for the virus, despite the fact that the illness’s origin remained unknown.
The state previously recorded 4 positive Nipah cases, two of which died in the last two weeks. The 24-year-old health worker whose samples proved positive for Nipah works at a private hospital in Kozhikode, where one of the infected sufferers died on August 30. The health worker and two others are being treated.
The contact list for the confirmed cases includes 153 health workers.
Meanwhile, the state administration increased control measures on Wednesday. A state-level control room was established, nine panchayats in Kozhikode district were declared containment zones, and 800-odd people were placed under watch after appearing on the contact lists of sick people.
The government imposed social separation in Kozhikode district for the next 10 days following a high-level meeting headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to examine the situation. All public functions in the district would be suspended, and social gatherings would be permitted only with limited participation and prior police clearance.
Following the meeting, Health Minister Veena George stated that 789 people on the contact list of confirmed patients had been identified. Since the infected people’s travel maps have been revealed, the contact list has grown even more. 77 of them are considered high-risk, and 17 have been quarantined in hospitals in Kozhikode. A nine-year-old boy is on life support after becoming infected. She stated that the ICMR was asked to supply the monoclonal antibody required for his therapy.
According to official authorities, attempts are underway to determine the origins of the infection. Because fruit bats are thought to be a reservoir of the virus and animal-to-human transmission is suspected, samples of fruits found partially chewed by bats were gathered from the villages of the deceased victims, Ayancheri and Maruthonkara. Local panchayat officials went door-to-door in the villages.
A team of doctors from the National Centre for Disease Control visited the control center, and two more teams, one from ICMR-Pune and the other from the Union Health Ministry, were scheduled to arrive in Kozhikode on Wednesday night to assist the state government in dealing with the crisis.