Kerala has now finally been declared free from Nipah virus, with last two patients tested positive having fully recovered.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on June 10 said that the infection has been brought under control, "Nipah is under control now and no positive case has been reported. In this backdrop, it has been decided to relax the high alert issued in mid-May after the outbreak of the disease."
She also added, "We visited the two Nipah positive patients who have been completely cured and according to many, this is something rare. The scare of this getting spread is finally over, as no more patients have tested positive, but a caution has to be there who are under observation, as they have to take complete rest."
The deadly disease killed 17 people in Kerala including Mohammed Sadik who was the first person suspected to die of this infection. Kozhikode alone reported 13 deaths while three other victims were reported from nearby Malappuram district. 2,000 patients were kept under strict observation.
High alert was lifted over the state on June 10. Health secretary Rajeev Sadanandan said in a statement, "No new cases have been reported for the past 21 days. Since this is more than the longest recorded incubation period of the virus, we consider the Nipah outbreak to be over in the state."
Schools and colleges were reopened on June 12, which was postponed from June 1 due to outbreak of the disease. The Kozhikode Medical College hospital, where a special Nipah ward was opened, is now seeing patients returning home.
How Kerala defeated Nipah Virus
Kerala's feat in controlling the outspread of this deadly disease is truly commendable. Authorities were able to put a tap on Nipah virus infection in a just a span of five weeks.
One of the best achievements of the medical community in Kerala was recognising the symptoms and patterns at the very early stage which helped diagnosis extremely easy. It is no mean feat that the very second case was correctly diagnosed as Nipah infection.
Authorities, realising that the disease is transmitted only during the symptomatic phase through close contacts, traced all the persons related to the first case.
After confirming the disease, all the patients and suspected cases were moved to the Government Medical College at Kozhikode. All of these patients were isolated and close to 2,000 contacts of these cases were kept under strict vigil.
As per reports, the control of Nipah Virus was supervised directly by Health Minister K K Shailaja. The dedication shown by the authorities is truly appreciable.
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