Mangaluru: The Health Department has issued a circular asking all private and government-run hospitals in Dakshina Kannada district to immediately convey information to them on finding the presence of Nipah virus among patients.
The precautionary measure has been taken in view of the virus having been found in a student from Kerala recently. Since Dakshina Kannada district borders Kerala, the department has chosen to be extra careful.
Many people ply daily from the district to Kerala and back. Also a large number of patients from Kerala also visit the district. Hence, the department has foreseen the great need for precaution against the disease.
Since most of the visitors from Kerala arrive via the trains, the railway physicians have in particular been asked to be extra careful. The doctors have been advised to conduct specific checks whenever they come across patients suffering from fever or other kinds of health complications. The hospitals and doctors facing shortage of manpower have been asked by the District survey officer, Dr Praveen, to recommend such patients to Wenlock Hospital.
15 lives lost
Last year, over 15 lives were claimed by Nipah virus in Kozhikode and Manappuram in Kerala. Precautionary measures had been undertaken in Dakshina Kannada district even then. Based on suspicion, swab samples of two patients had been sent to the laboratory at Pune. However, both the cases had been found to be negative.
People should be very careful as Nipah virus can be transmitted when coughing and sneezing. Although the virus mainly spreads through bats and pigs, the virus can also be spread by domestic animals.