Public Health response to Nipah Virus outbreak in Kozhikode, Kerala, India
June 08, 2018
Nipah field investigation
Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR) in close collaboration with health services of Kerala State detected Nipah Virus as the aetiology of a cluster of encephalitis in a family in Kozhikode district of Kerala on 18th May 2018. MCVR’s diagnostic capacity building activities in the context of its ongoing Acute Febrile Illness Surveillance programme in collaboration with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, enabled the quick diagnosis of Nipah virus infection with a record turnaround time of 12 hours. This has helped the State to mount a quick public health response to contain the human to human transmission of Nipah virus, hence averting a catastrophe. MCVR coordinated the laboratory support for Nipah virus diagnostic testing and the heightened surveillance of Nipah contact tracing and surveillance. MCVR was in the front line alongside the public health services of Kerala in the fight against Nipah outbreak. MCVR conducted epidemiological investigations, provided technical advices to public health services, of Kerala, and actively participated in risk communication during the outbreak management. Quick diagnosis by MCVR and swift public health response by the state health services contained the outbreak in a record time. Since 30th May there is no new cases reported.