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Nipah virus: Centre says no need to panic

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has confirmed a positive case of Nipah virus. At a press conference, she said that 23-year-old college student from Kochi’s Ernakulam was tested positive in the results that came from Pune Virology Institute. She said that satisfactory treatment is being provided to the patient.

Shailaja added that the government is fully equipped to deal with the situation and isolation wards have been set up in several hospitals including Kalamassery in Kochi. People with symptoms are being kept under constant surveillance.

Meanwhile, a 6 member central team has arrived in the state. and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan is in constant touch with the state authorities.

On May 19, 2018, Nipah virus disease outbreak was reported from Kozhikode. As per state government figures, the Nipah virus had claimed 17 lives — 14 in Kozhikode and three in neighbouring Malappuram in May last year.

According to the WHO, Nipah virus is a newly emerging disease that can be transmitted from its natural wildlife host, the fruit bats, to both animals and humans.

Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan has said that he called a meeting at his residence with all the officers including health secretary today. He added that yesterday itself, a team of six officers has been dispatched to Kerala. He also urged people not to panic.

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