Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Virology Institute have jointly sounded the alarm over the alleged failures in preventing the spread of the Nipah virus in Kerala. In the wake of the recent Nipah outbreak in the state, both organisations have pointed to critical gaps in surveillance and the need for comprehensive measures to identify and curb the root causes of such outbreaks.
The IMA has asserted that inadequate surveillance of bats, believed to be the natural reservoir of the Nipah virus, has substantially increased the risk of disease transmission to humans. According to the IMA, regular bat surveillance surveys were not conducted, leaving a dangerous gap in monitoring and understanding the virus’s behavior. To address these concerns, the IMA has called for the establishment of health protection agencies to ensure continuous monitoring and a proactive response to emerging infectious diseases.
Echoing these concerns, the director of the Central Virology Institute emphasised that the mode of Nipah virus transmission from bats to humans remains elusive. The lack of clarity on this critical aspect poses a significant challenge in devising effective prevention and containment strategies. The director emphasised the need for comprehensive research and continuous monitoring within the state to unravel the mysteries surrounding Nipah transmission and evolution.
The state of Kerala is currently grappling with the spectre of Nipah virus transmission, with five confirmed cases reported thus far. Tragically, two individuals have already succumbed to the virus, while three others remain under medical care. Encouragingly, there is a glimmer of hope as the condition of a young man undergoing treatment at a Kozhikode hospital has improved, with his fever subsiding and signs of infection receding.
However, the situation remains grim for a nine-year-old patient whose condition is described as serious. The medical community in Thiruvananthapuram was on high alert, awaiting test results for a medical student who had exhibited symptoms of fever. Fortunately, the test results for this individual have returned negative, providing some relief to health authorities.