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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

India: Viral Encephalitis

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    Posted: May 20 2018 at 8:47am

Rare virus behind three deaths in Kozhikode village: Minister

| May 20, 2018, 12:58 IST

KOZHIKODE: The death toll due to viral encephalitis at Changaroth near Perambra in the district rose to three with the death of a woman at a private hospital on Saturday. Health minister K K Shailaja told media after an emergency meeting of top health and district administration officials on Saturday night that a “rare virus” was responsible for the deaths.

“Tests conducted at the Manipal virology laboratory have revealed that a rare virus, which is not commonly found in the state, has caused the deaths. The samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune to ascertain the exact type of virus. We expect the results by tomorrow (Sunday) or day after,” she said.

The death of three persons from a family during the last fortnight has spread panic in the area and put the health department on high alert.

The latest casualty, Mariyam (50), is the aunt of V K Salih who had died on Friday. Salih’s brother Muhammed Sahid (26) had died at the Kozhikode Medical College on May 5.

Salih’s fiancée Athifa (19) and his father Moosa are currently undergoing treatment at private hospitals in Kochi and Kozhikode. A nurse from the Peramba hospital and a relative of Salih who participated in the funeral rites have also been admitted to two hospitals.

Labour minister T P Ramakrishnan and director of health services R L Saritha visited Changaroth to assess the situation.

The health minister said the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been informed about the deaths and the central government urged to send a medical team to the state.

“People need not get panicked,” she said and asked the public not to believe the rumours being spread through social media.

It has been observed that the disease spreads through contact with body fluids. A special isolation ward will be opened at the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital. Two ventilators have already been made available there, said Shailaja.

The collector has been asked to ensure the support private hospitals in disease management. Directions have also been given to keep those who had been in close contact with the deceased under observation.

The district medical officer has, meanwhile, appealed to people not to consume fruits eaten by birds and bats.

Asked whether the infection was due to Nipah virus, Dr G Arun Kumar from the Manipal Centre for Virus Research, who is camping in the district, said that it cannot be confirmed at this point.

All the three who has died had shown symptoms including fever, disorientation and mental confusion.

Dr Abdul Gafoor from the department of infectious diseases of Apollo Hospital, Chennai was among those present at the press meet.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2018 at 3:13am
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