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Nipah virus: Two suspected cases reported in Karnataka

MANGALURU: Two cases of suspected Nipah Virus (NiV) infection have been reported in Mangaluru.

The department of health and family welfare in Dakshina Kannada district is on high alert and officials say that they are well prepared.

DHO Dr M Ramakrishna Rao said samples of two patients have been sent for test at Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR), Manipal. If reports from MCVR show positive for Nipah Virus, samples will be sent again to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for final confirmation.

We have received reports that two patients, one hailing from Kerala and another local resident, are suspected to have the symptoms of NiV infection. While one patient is admitted in Government Wenlock Hospital, another has been admitted to a private hospital in the city. Both of them are in quarantine and their throat swabs have been collected for test to be conducted in MCVR,” Dr Rao said adding that the result is expected to arrive by Wednesday or Thursday.

“The department is quite alert and messages have been sent to all government and private hospitals. Since hospitals in Mangaluru get large number of patients from Kerala, we have directed them to report immediately if they come across any suspected cases of Nipah Virus infection. Taluk hospitals and primary health centres too have been warned to be alert. We are in touch with doctors in all hospitals in the district. A dedicated WhatsApp group has been created for health department officials to share information on the disease. Currently, only symptomatic treatment is being given to patients,”he added.

Hospitals have been asked to treat patients in quarantine, but they should not be stigmatized. “No hospitals should reject cases, if the patients have the symptoms of Nipah Virus. We have given strict instructions to hospitals to admit patients and give treatments in quarantine.

He added that the disease can be finalized only after tests are repeated in NIV, Pune. Currently, the test facility is available at MCVR in Manipal. The test costs around Rs 5,000 – 6,000. The department has plans to open such test facilities in Mangaluru too, he said.

“The department is quite alert and messages have been sent to all government and private hospitals. Since hospitals in Mangaluru get large number of patients from Kerala, we have directed them to report immediately if they come across any suspected cases of Nipah Virus infection. Taluk hospitals and primary health centres too have been warned to be alert. We are in touch with doctors in all hospitals in the district. A dedicated WhatsApp group has been created for health department officials to share information on the disease. Currently, only symptomatic treatment is being given to patients,” he added.

Hospitals have been asked to treat patients in quarantine, but they should not be stigmatized. “No hospitals should reject cases, if the patients have the symptoms of Nipah Virus. We have given strict instructions to hospitals to admit patients and give treatments in quarantine,” Rao said.

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