Kozhikode: After a 12-year-old boy from nearby Mavoor died of Nipah in the wee hours on Sunday, local authorities have geared up to check any further spread of the dreaded virus in Kozhikode and surrounding areas.
Sources in the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital told PTI that they have since opened an exclusive Nipah ward to cater to any possible outbreak of the virus.
They said that after a proposed meeting with ministers and health experts, further plans would be decided.
The hospital where the boy was being treated since September 1 is on alert and the situation there was being closely monitored, sources said.
The staff of the local hospital in Omaserry near Mavoor, where the child was first taken for consultation after he developed severe fever late in August, has also been alerted.
The authorities have declared a health alert in the district and cordoned off about three kilometres around the house of the deceased child.
Pazhoor (ward 9) of Chathamangalam panchayat has been fully closed and nearby wards of Nayarkuzhy, Koolimad, Puthiyadam wards were partially closed, the sources said, adding that police have been deployed to restrict vehicle and people movement in or out from these places.
The health authorities have alerted the people in the area to immediately report any instances of fever, vomiting and other health disorders.
The health authorities in Malappuram and Kannur have also been alerted to closely monitor the situation.
Local residents said police personnel reached there around 4 am and closed all pocket roads leading to the child’s house.
They also said that the roads there are deserted now and police have informed them that the main road in Pulpara and Kulimadu would also be closed after some time.
Kerala health minister Veena George said none of the others who had come in contact with the boy are showing any symptoms yet. “Three samples– plasma, CSF and serum– were found infected. He was admitted to the hospital with a heavy fever four days ago. But on Saturday, his condition became worse. We had sent his samples for testing the day before yesterday,” George said, according to the Indian Express.
The last time the Nipah virus was detected in Kerala was in 2019. In 2018, 17 people had died of the disease in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.
The virus can be transmitted to humans from animals like pigs and bats. Human-to-human transmission is also possible.
(With PTI inputs)