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Nipah isolation ward at GRH

In the wake of Nipah virus outbreak following a death in Kerala, the city doctors have gone on an alert mode with the setting up of an exclusive 20-bed Nipah ward in Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH).

The ready-to-use Nipah isolation ward also has another 25 beds attached with intensive care facilities such as monitors, ventilators and adequate oxygen supply.

“There is no case of Nipah virus at the moment in Madurai,” GRH Dean Dr. A. Rathinavel told The Hindu, “but as an utmost precautionary measure, we have kept ourselves in a state of preparedness with all facilities and a team of doctors to deal with any eventuality”.

“Since, coronavirus cases are now less than 50, we have converted one of the COVID-19 isolation wards on the ground floor of the Super Speciality Block into a Nipah isolation ward,” said the Assistant Resident Medical Officer Dr. Syed Abdul Khader.

A person infected with Nipah virus may show symptoms such as fever, headache, body pain, sore throat, convulsions, vomiting, dizziness and disorientation to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis. The treatment largely includes antibiotics to control complications and supportive care for the comfort of the patient.

Any suspected Nipah case, Dr.Rathinavel said, would be isolated in the ward, samples of throat and nasal swabs, cerebrospinal fluid, urine and blood will be collected and sent to the public health lab and National Institute of Virology, Pune. The highly contagious Nipah virus can be transmitted directly from human-to-human, from animals such as pigs and bats or contaminated foods.

People should keep their masks on, avoid crowded places, wash their hands frequently and consume tepid water for their safety and health, Dr. Khader advised.

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