Alert sounded in border districts of Karnataka over Nipah

By Staff Reporter

Karnataka has issued an advisory on strengthening surveillance, especially in border districts, in view of confirmed cases of Nipah virus infection reported in Kerala. The focus districts are Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru, Kodagu, and Chamarajanagar.

In the advisory to the deputy commissioners of all districts, the Department of Health and Family Welfare said arrivals from Kerala should be monitored for fever, altered mental status, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, and other typical symptoms.

“Samples should be collected with all necessary precautions from suspected, probable and contacts and sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for laboratory confirmation. As there is no known treatment or vaccine available, Ribavirin, an antiviral, may have a role in reducing mortality among patients with encephalitis caused by Nipah virus disease,” said the advisory. Intensive supportive care with treatment of symptoms is the main approach for managing infection in people, it added.

All district authorities have been asked to send daily reports to the Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare Services, on the status of cases.

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