Kerala: Kerala did a good job in nipping the Nipah virus in the bud this year. In May last year, Nipah took the state by surprise, claiming 17 lives. This June, there has been one infection and the response was swift. Unlike last year, there was no panic as the virus was not allowed to spread. More importantly, there was no mortality considering the fact that the virus has a very high mortality rate and no proven antidote.
All the stakeholders– the Kerala government, healthcare system, and society at large – reacted with concern, and never allowed things to go out of control despite the fact that this year the outbreak was in the thickly populated city of Kochi.
Nipah has so far been confirmed in only one person – a 23-year-old student – and he is recovering well. While over 300 people were under observation, most of them have been discharged,But it is still early days. The monsoon has just lashed Kerala and this is a period when viral fevers and contagious diseases start popping up.That being the case, the healthcare authorities in Kerala and the Centre should not let go an opportunity in tracking down the source of the virus.
The study was proposed by the Department of Wildlife Science, College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), to better understand the ecology of bats and the transmission of the Nipah virus. It was to be conducted in collaboration with international universities and institutes. But not a file or paper has moved. This is shameful and displays a lack of seriousness. The State seems content with fire-fighting the virus rather than taking steps to eradicate it.