Kozhikode, Wayanad districts on high alert following confirmation of Nipah


People wear masks at a medical college in Kerala's Kozhikode after the district was put on Nipah alert/

People wear masks at a medical college in Kerala’s Kozhikode after the district was put on Nipah alert/ | Photo Credit: PTI

With the confirmation by the Center that the Nipah virus was behind two deaths in Kozhikode district, the region including Wayanad district has been placed on high alert.

Health Minister Veena George, overseeing efforts to curb the spread of the virus, is on-site, urging the public to remain vigilant. She has emphasized the importance of mask-wearing and has advised against unnecessary hospital visits during this critical time. In response, local bodies have enacted a mandatory mask-wearing order throughout Kozhikode district.

The history of Kozhikode includes successfully combating a Nipah outbreak in 2018 that claimed 17 lives. This marked the first Nipah outbreak in south India and the third in the nation’s history. Of the 23 identified cases at the time, 18 were confirmed. The coordinated response from both the Central and State governments garnered widespread acclaim for effectively managing the crisis.

In a later assessment, the World Health Organization recognized Kerala’s reliance on its robust healthcare system to contain the outbreak. However, it also highlighted areas for improvement, particularly the need for further training in epidemiology and data analysis among surveillance personnel.

The National Library of Medicine, documenting these occurrences, noted that early detection and swift isolation of cases, combined with enhanced infection control measures, played a major role in containing the outbreak.

A second Nipah outbreak in the State surfaced in Kochi in 2021, yet the Health department swiftly nipped it in the bud through resourceful management, resulting in only one casualty.

The current administration is expected to exhibit the same level of efficiency. Notably, Kallad and Mangalad regions in Ayancherry grama panchayat from where the two deceased persons hail, are under close surveillance, leading to the temporary closure of schools and anganwadis. A control room has been opened to combat the situation, which can be contacted on 0495-2383100, 0495-2383101, 0495-2384100, 0495-2384101, and 0495-2386100.


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