Centre assures help to Kerala for Nipah, rushes doctors, experts

After a 23-year-old college student was tested positive for Nipah virus in Kerala's Ernakulam, the centre has rushed a team of doctors to the state for investigation, said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday, asserting that he is "very vigorously" following the situation.

"Today morning I called a meeting at my residence with all the important officers including health secretary. Yesterday itself we had dispatched a team of six officers, including doctors to Kerala to investigate," he told media.

"We are very vigorously following the case. We will provide every possible help to the state. Our officers are continuously in touch with the officials in the state," he added.

Nipah virus, which killed 17 people in Kerala last year, is transmitted from animals to humans and then spreads through people to people contact, causing respiratory illness. Its symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, fever, dizziness and nausea.

The government has also dispatched monoclonal antibodies to Kerala for the treatment of the patients, Harsh Vardhan informed.

Moreover, 86 people have been put under medical observation.

"The government is fully equipped to deal with the situation. All decisions are being made based on our experience of the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode in May last year," state Health and Family Welfare Minister K K Shailaja said on Tuesday.

A special isolation ward has been set up at the Ernakulam Medical College for suspected cases of the virus.