No new cases of Nipah virus reported in Kerala: Harsh Vardhan

No new cases of Nipah virus has been reported in Kerala, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Saturday. A case of Nipah was reported from Keralas Ernakulum district on June 3 and the condition of the infected college student is stable. The state government has said a total of 318 people, who were in touch with the student, have been kept under observation. Of them, 52 have been put in the high-risk category. Vardhan, who is regularly reviewing the public health measures put in place in Kerala, yesterday assured the states health minister, K K Shailaja, of all support from the Centre for prevention and management of the disease. There have been no new cases of Nipah virus disease, he said Saturday. Meanwhile, experts from National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, are supporting the Keralas Animal Husbandry Department in investigation. The team has collected samples from livestock and of bat droppings, the health ministry said in a statement. Multi-disciplinary central teams, including experts from the the NCDC, AIIMS and ICMR, have already been deployed which are supporting the state in investigations, contact tracing, sample testing and management of the infection. A Strategic Health Operation Centre (SHOC) at National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was activated on June 4 and it is coordinating with field teams on surveillance and response activities for Nipah containment. A dedicated phone line has also been established at SHOC which has till date received 42 calls, an official statement said. The Kerala government had Thursday announced that samples of six people, including three nursing staff, who had initially attended on a college student infected with Nipah virus, had tested negative. The Nipah virus had claimed 17 lives in the state in May last year.