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Special medicine to counter Nipah reaches Kochi: Health Minister KK Shailaja

Kochi: Health Minister KK Shailaja informed that Human Monoclonal antibody, the special medicine to counter Nipah virus, has been taken to Kochi on Wednesday morning.

She reported that the condition of the college student who was diagnosed with the Nipah virus is satisfactory.

Talking to reporters here, Shailaja said samples collected from the five people currently being treated at the isolation ward of Kalamassery Medical College Hospital have been sent to National Institute of Virology in Pune on Wednesday morning.

“The preliminary assessment of their health shows that they are not in a severe condition. Their health now is better than yesterday. But they are under constant watch of doctors. We expect tests of their blood samples would be negative. But we should wait till the final results come,” Shailaja, who is constantly monitoring the situation with medical experts and top health officials, said.

She said treatment for Nipah will start only if their blood test confirm they have contracted the infectious disease.

The results are expected by Thursday evening.

“We should be very careful till the completion of the incubation period of the virus,” she said. At present, they were being treated for fever and sore throat, said the minister.

“So far, there is no need for panic. The health condition of the Nipah affected and the five people under treatment in isolation ward is improving,” she added.

Though the medicine to counter the disease has already reached Kochi, the minister noted that the medicine will not be given to the affected person as his condition is satisfactory.

The details of 311 people under observation will be checked by Wednesday evening.

The investigation of the expert team to trace the origin of the virus is under progress.

Hailing from North Paravur in Ernakulam, the 23-year-old is studying in a college in Thodupuzha in Idukki district.

The student, who was suffering from fever, had gone to Thrissur district with a group of students to attend a training programme.

The government has urged people not to panic and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

A control room has also been set up and the Strategic Health Operations Centre of the National Centre for Disease Control has been activated, phone number for which is 011-23978046, a health ministry statement said in New Delhi.

According to state government figures, the Nipah virus had claimed 17 lives — 14 in Kozhikode and three in neighbouring Malappuram in May last year.

(With added inputs from PTI)

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