Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Thursday flagged off a mobile virology lab which will go to the Nipah containment zone in Kozhikode district. The mobile virology lab will collect the sample of patients who show symptoms of the Nipah virus for test and research.
Antiviral against Nipah has arrived in Kerala: State govt
Meanwhile, the state government said the monoclonal antibody required for the treatment of those infected by the Nipah virus has arrived in Kerala.
George said a meeting was held between the Principal Secretary of the Health Department and the Union Health Ministry earlier in the day and now the monoclonal antibody has arrived.
She told reporters that stability of the medicine, which is not clinically proven yet but is the only available antiviral treatment for Nipah virus infection, was discussed with a central expert committee.
No need to be apprehensive, says government
The state government said there was no need to be apprehensive about the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode, but caution needs to be exercised by people as they go about their daily activities.
State Health Minister Veena George detailed various steps taken by the government since the night of September 11, when two deaths in the north Kerala district were suspected to be due to Nipah, to counter the spread of the virus and treat those infected.
"There is no need for any apprehension. We can all together deal with the issue with caution," she said in a statement in the Assembly.
The brain-damaging virus has killed two people and infected three others in Kozhikode district.
On Wednesday, a 24-year old health worker became Kerala's fifth confirmed Nipah case since its recent outbreak.
Of the three infected persons under treatment, the condition of a nine-year-old boy continues to remain critical, and the government has ordered monoclonal antibodies from ICMR.
It is the only available anti-viral treatment for Nipah virus infection, though it has not been clinically proven yet.