Red Alert in Goa: Probable Case of Nipah Infection in Kerala Tourist Identified in South Goa

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In the wake of Nipah virus claiming 10 lives in Kerala, the Goa government today said there was nothing to worry about in the state, but measures were still being taken to prevent its possible spread.

One possible case of probable Nipah infection was identified in a tourist from Kerala and blood and saliva samples have been sent for  examination to Pune and Mumbai. The tourist who entered South Goa from Kozhikode yesterday by road, exhibited signs of possible Nipah infection like fever, headache, dizziness and vomiting and he was immediately quarantined and isolated at a private medical facility in South Goa, till the results of comprehensive tests are available.

The identity and location of the patient have been kept a top secret to prevent possible panic in the State, officials said, adding that right now there is nothing to worry as the patient has been completely isolated in an ICCU and there is only 20 per cent chance that it could be a Nipah infection. We have taken precautions to isolate the patient only because he arrived from Kozhikode and showed probable symptoms of Nipah infection. However, it could be a simple case of fatigue and other viral or bacterial infection because of travel by road, a doctor who preferred anonymity said.

Also Read: Everything You Wanted to Know About Nipah? How to Prevent Nipah Infection?

IndiaScoops.com tried to contact the Goa CMs office for information in this regard, but nobody was willing to comment officially in the matter, stating that they had no information about the quarantine of a tourist from Kerala in South Goa. The CM of Goa is undergoing treatment in the USA and there was no one point contact available beyond working hours. Two other ministers refused to comment on the ground that they had no information and could not speak to the media without proper data.

“As of now there is no alert issued for Goa by any agency, including the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), whose team is in Kerala assessing the ground-level situation,” Dr Utkarsh Betodkar, State Surveillance Officer of Directorate of Health Services, told news agency PTI.

He said there was no need to panic as it has not affected the entire state of Kerala, but only a specific area of Kozhikode.

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The Nipah virus has so far claimed 10 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts in north Kerala, while the condition of two persons undergoing treatment for the viral disease is said to be critical, the Kerala government has confirmed.

According to Betodkar, the Goa government was not taking any chances and has already contacted Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR) to assess the situation, PTI reported.

Responding to a question, the officer said there was no need to screen the tourists arriving from Kerala as the virus is not widespread all over Kerala.

“Screening of the tourists or visitors can happen only when there are specific guidelines issued by the Centre. Right now, there are no such guidelines,” he said.

 

Editor’s Note: We have restrained from mentioning the name of the private hospital and patient to prevent panic. We will update this article as results of the medical tests become available. This is a developing story and this page will be updated as and when more information is available.

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