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03 June 2018, 08:10 | Melissa Porter
As Nipah death toll rises to 16 in Kerala, Health Minister warns of new outbreak
Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda on Saturday reviewed the ground situation with the Kerala government and took stock of the public health measures in the areas affected by Nipah virus disease.
Kolkata: The fluid samples of a soldier, who died in Kolkata, days after returning from his hometown in Kerala, have tested "negative" for Nipah virus infection, a defence official said today.
Officials added that there have been no suspected virus cases in the state till now and that Assam is not under any direct threat since the fruits, barring only coconut, are usually not imported here from Kerala. Given that India has faced and contained Nipah virus outbreaks before, the country has the capacity to rapidly respond and verify cases with laboratory testing.
However, schools and colleges in other districts have reopened on Thursday after summer vacations. The concerned people were reportedly in the contact list of those who have fallen victims to the deadly virus.
After the death of a superintendent of Kozhikode district court complex due to Nipah, the district bar association asked the collector to temporarily put operations on hold.
A similar note of caution was also issued by the Himachal Pradesh health ministry after more than 18 dead bats were discovered in the premises of a government school in Nahan.
Moreover, massive arrangements have been made at the state-run Kozhikode Medical College and Hospital to observe suspected Nipah cases and 80 rooms have been earmarked for them. To find out the source of the virus, a number of samples from a particular variety of bats were taken, but they turned out to be negative. "The Nipah virus, which was first identified in 1999 after an outbreak in Malaysia and Singapore is thought to be transmitted by bats, pigs or other animals to humans", the advisory states.
The team concerned at the MoPH will receive related reports round-the-clock on its hotlines: 66740948 and 66740951. NCDC is monitoring the situation in various states through the Integrated Disease Control Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network.
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