Nipah virus outbreak: Kerala gets antibody, cellular lab to combat the deadly virus

The Indian Council of Medical Analysis (ICMR) Thursday delivered the monoclonal antibody to Kozhikode requested by Kerala to fight the Nipah outbreak within the district, PTI reported.

The Nationwide Institute of Virology, a unit of ICMR, in Pune also sent its cellular laboratory (Biosafety degree-3) to Kozhikode to test the samples for the lethal virus in the district after 5 instances, including two deaths, have been reported. Up to now, the samples have been being sent to the NIV, Pune.

The antiviral is the only choice out there to the federal government to deal with the deadly virus, though its efficacy has not been clinically proven but, the report stated. 

The report stated a five-member central staff comprising specialists from the Nationwide Centre for Disease Control, RML Hospital and NIMHANS has been stationed in Kerala to take inventory of the state of affairs and help the state authorities in the management of the Nipah outbreak. 

Samples from bats can be collected to verify for the presence of the Nipah virus.

The steadiness of the antiviral was discussed with a central skilled committee, Kerala well being minister Veena George stated.

“Further steps or plan of action can be decided by the skilled committee,” George referred to consultations between the state authorities and the Union well being ministry. 

The ICMR’s mBSL-3, the primary biosafety degree-three containment cellular laboratory of South Asia will assist early testing and detection of the infection at the district itself. 

The cellular laboratory was set up in February last yr to research newly emerging and re-rising viral infections which are extremely infectious and are probably lethal for human beings.

Additionally, a totally-outfitted cellular virology testing laboratory of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) was dispatched to the northern Kerala district to strengthen virus testing and detection. This is the fourth time the viral an infection has been confirmed in the state. 

In 2018 and 2021 it was detected in Kozhikode and in 2019 in Ernakulam. The m102.4 monoclonal antibody, an experimental therapeutic, was imported in the course of the 2018 Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode for the remedy of contaminated patients, on compassionate grounds. It was not used again then, as by the point it arrived, the outbreak had ended. 

In the meantime, Union Minister of State for Well being and Household Welfare Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar has reviewed the steps taken for the containment of the Nipah outbreak and visited NIV, Pune to take stock of preparations.

Kerala health minister stated in the State Meeting that there was no have to be apprehensive concerning the Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode but warning needs to be exercised by individuals as they go about their every day activities.

“There isn’t any want for any apprehension. We will all collectively cope with the difficulty with caution,” she stated. 

The state has been vigilant and Kozhikode’s neighbouring districts of Kannur, Wayanad and Malappuram also needs to be cautious, George added.

The minister stated a 19-member core committee, name centres, and a management centre have also been set up in Kozhikode district, along with isolation, ventilator and ICU amenities within the medical school there. 

She also suggested individuals to put on masks, keep social distance and strategy healthcare staff in case anyone exhibits signs of chilly, fever, headache or cough. 

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Updated: 14 Sep 2023, 10:42 PM IST

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