Karnataka has been already battling a surge in Covid cases among people arriving from Kerala. With a continued high influx of people from Kerala, the Nipah virus outbreak has just added to the state’s worries.
The Karnataka government on Sunday informed that individuals coming from Kerala will be kept under strict surveillance. A senior official stated that monitoring has been intensified especially in the districts bordering Kerala.
ANI quoted Karnataka health commissioner KV Trilok Chandra as saying, “We have already issued a detailed advisory on precautions to be taken (against Nipah virus). Advanced surveillance measures are already in place in all border districts. People coming from Kerala will be under surveillance.”
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai during a media interaction in Bengaluru on Friday had informed, “Regarding Nipah virus, I have given directions to the health secretary and experts. I will get a report on its behaviour in Kerala and its impact on us by this evening, following which necessary action will be taken.”
The state had issued a directive for administrations of districts bordering Kerala to strengthen surveillance and preparedness on September 07, immediately after the first case of the Nipah virus was reported.
Doctors too in the state have started informing their patients on Nipah, its symptoms and differences between clinical symptoms of Nipah and Covid-19 through emails. Dr Mahesh Kumar, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Narayana Health City said, “With Nipah cases in Kerala, it is important to be aware of the condition and take the necessary preventive measures, especially when Covid virus is still prevailing as the symptoms are similar. It is important to understand the differences or similarities in the two conditions and the way they manifest.”
“Nipah can be transmitted through contaminated foods and also from human-to-human contact. Greater vigil and stricter adherence to safety norms are needed to contain Nipah,” informed Dr Sheela Chakravarthy, Director of Internal Medicine at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road.
The government currently is monitoring arrivals from Kerala for any symptoms like fever, altered mental status, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion and diarrhoea which are all the common signs of Nipah virus infection.
Tamil Nadu on alert too
Tamil Nadu too has upped its ante to battle any possible threat from its neighbour. Dr Natarajan of state-run Rajaji Hospital in Madurai informed that the hospital has set up a dedicated ward to treat Nipah virus patients.
Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have not reported any cases of the Nipah virus but are preparing to handle any complications.
Kerala, however, has also reported 20,240 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday.
The case fatality rate of Nipah is estimated at 40-75 per cent making it imperative for the affected states to enhance vigilance to contain the spread of the virus.