Another death due to Nipah virus infection has been confirmed in Kozhikode, sending the entire district into high alert mode as this now points to the likelihood of a second wave of the infection. Seventeen people have lost their lives till now in the state due to the virus.
On Thursday 25-year-old Rasil from Kottoor village in Kozhikode, succumbed to the infection at the Kozhikode Government Medical College hospital. He was admitted on May 26 and had been undergoing treatment. Rasil was suspected to have picked up the infection from one of the people who had died from it earlier.
Rasil was earlier admitted to the Balussery Taluk hospital for complaints of diarrhea and abdominal pain, before being shifted to Kozhikode Medical College hospital. He could have been exposed to the infection from another patient, Ismail. Ismal too had been admitted to both these hospitals.
Ismail had previously been admitted to Perambra Taluk hospital, where Mohammad Sadik (the first suspected case of Nipah), had been undergoing treatment from whom it is thought Ismail caught the virus.
He was later admitted to the Balussery Taluk hospital and then to Kozhikode Medical College hospital and passed away on May 20.
Dr R L Saritha, Director of Director of Health Services said that Rasil did not have any contact with the family members of V. Moosa of Chengaroth, who have been considered to be the first source of the infection.
Rasil had most likely picked up the infection from a secondary source like Ismail who was exposed to members of Moosaâ€™s family. The department says this could be a possible indication of a second wave of the infection.
A doctor from Balussery Hospital who had examined Rasil, has been admitted to the Kozhikode Medical College hospital with high fever. Kozhikode District Medical Officer Dr Jayasree told TNM that his condition is alright, and that his samples have been sent for testing to Manipal Centre for Viral Research (MCVR).
Dr Jayasree said, â€śDoctors, nurses and other medical personnel who have had history of contact with Rasil and Ismail during their course of treatment at the Balussery Taluk hospital, have been advised to stay home for one week. The hospital will continue to function. Other doctors, nurses and staff will continue to work.â€ť
On Wednesday it was reported that two people â€“ TP Madhusoodhanan (55) and Akhil (28), also died after having contracted the virus. Madhusoodhanan, who worked as a senior superintendent of Kozhikode District Court, is reported to have got the infection from Kozhikode Medical College hospital. It is not yet clear where Akhil picked up the virus from. Doctors speculate that he was exposed to it at Kozhikode Medical College hospital where he was caring for a colleague who was admitted after an accident.
In an advisory, the Health Department urged those who have had any contact with either Akhil or Rasil, to inform the State Nipah Cell on 0495-2381000.
They further advised that anyone who had been present at Kozhikode Government Medical College hospital between 10am and 5pm on May 5 and at Balussery Taluk hospital on May 18 and 19 to contact the cell. Details of callers will be kept confidential.
Any one exhibiting symptoms can approach the helpline at 0495-2381000. Ambulance services are being provided for these persons, if needed.
The government is taking efforts to maintain a list of possible people who may have had contact with those who have died from Nipah. According to Dr Jayasree 1407 people are currently in the contact list.
â€śAll those on the list are being monitored and all facilities have been arranged to take them to the hospital if they show any symptoms,â€ť said Dr Saritha.
Commenting on the two confirmed cases who are under treatment, Keralaâ€™s Health Department has posted on Facebook stating that the individuals are improving and that no virus has been detected in their latest blood reports and that they would only be discharged when it is confirmed that there is no sign of the virus in their body.
Dr Arun Kumar, head of the Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR) had earlier told TNM stressing on vigilance, â€śThe vigilance will continue. From the last reported case to 42 days we will keep up the vigilance. We donâ€™t want to miss a single case. Because if we miss a single case, that will lead to another hospital outbreak. If suspected cases go for treatment at a place where the staff does not expect Nipah, then it can transmit there. We donâ€™t want that to happen. Right now, no secondary transmission has happened. All are primary transmission.â€ť
To read more on incubation period and secondary transmission: