Kozhikode: After a 12-year-old boy from nearby Mavoor died of Nipah in the wee hours on Sunday, two more people have been identified with symptoms of the infection, Kerala health minister Veen George said here on Sunday.
The two are among the 20 high risk contacts of the deceased 12-year-old child, she said.
“We have identified 188 contacts till now. The surveillance team have marked 20 of them as high risk contacts. Two of these high risk contacts have symptoms. Both are health workers. One works with a private hospital, while the other is a staff member of Kozhikode Medical College hospital,” she told reporters after chairing a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation.
She said all the 20 high risk contacts will be shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College by evening, while other contacts of the child have been asked to remain in isolation. The pay ward at the Medical College Hospital has been completely converted into a dedicated Nipah ward, she said. The boy died at a hospital here early this morning. The samples of the boy, which were sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, confirmed the presence of the virus.
The Kozhikode Medical college hospital sources told PTI that they have since opened an exclusive Nipah ward to cater to any possible outbreak of the virus.
The staff of the local hospital in Omaserry near Mavoor, where the child was first taken for consultation after he developed severe fever late in August, has also been alerted.
The authorities have declared a health alert in the district and cordoned off about three kilometres around the house of the deceased child.
Pazhoor (ward 9) of Chathamangalam panchayat has been fully closed and nearby wards of Nayarkuzhy, Koolimad, Puthiyadam wards were partially closed, the sources said, adding that police have been deployed to restrict vehicle and people movement in or out from these places.
The health authorities have alerted the people in the area to immediately report any instances of fever, vomiting and other health disorders.
The health authorities in Malappuram and Kannur have also been alerted to closely monitor the situation.
Local residents said police personnel reached there around 4 AM and closed all pocket roads leading to the child’s house.
They also said that the roads there are deserted now and police have informed them that the main road in Pulpara and Kulimadu would also be closed after some time.