Interim fever clinics have been set up in two Nipah affected districts of Kerala - Kozhikode and Malappuram - under the directive of the Directorate of Health Services.
The clinics will take in all fever cases in an attempt to prevent mixing of these patients with others visiting hospitals. Among fever cases, those people with symptoms of Nipah will immediately be shifted to hospitals that are equipped with isolation wards and Personal Protection Kits.
"With the monsoon setting in, flu cases are likely to increase. The motive is to not mix fever cases with others, what with the current situation of Nipah outbreak in the state. The clinics with the doctors will be equipped with protective gear such as gloves and masks. Suspected Nipah cases will be immediately transferred to the Taluk Hospital in Manjeri for sampling and admission into the isolation ward," said Malappuram DMO Dr. Sakina.
Despite the setting up of the fever clinics, concerns regarding their functioning have been reported on local papers. On Friday, it was reported that the fever clinic in Tirurangadi town in Manjeri was shut down in a day following lack of staff and doctors arriving late.
Clarifying this Dr. Shahjahan, Medical Superintendent said, "The clinic was functioning partially for the past two days. The doctor had stepped outside and locked the clinic yesterday and the patients had to wait for sometime. This was why false notion that the clinic was shut started spreading. Starting today we will be functioning full time. The doctors come in shifts and treat the fever cases."
The fever clinics are not equipped with isolation wards needed to tackle Nipah. However, in case a patient with fever is suspected to have Nipah virus symptoms, they will be directly sent to the Manjeri Taluk Hospital for sample testing, the DMO confirmed.
"Only the confirmed cases are sent to the Kozhikode Medical College hospital. Suspected cases and those who have been in very close contact with the victims have been quarantined in the Manjeri hospital itself. Three layered coats, masks, gloves and other equipment are provided to the staff. After taking the samples, the staff are immediately asked to remove their gear in case the body fluids of the patients have come in contact with the gear," the DMO confirmed.