Dakshina Kannada DHO (in-charge) Dr Sudarshan told reporters on Wednesday, that all primary health centers (PHCs), located in border areas, have been instructed to maintain a state of vigilance and to carry out surveillance for fever in people.
An isolation ward has been set up at the Wenlock District Hospital in Mangaluru.
Private hospitals and medical college hospitals have been told to make necessary arrangements and inform the DHO and surveillance officer if they come across any symptomatic cases.
Dr Sudarshan has advised the public not to ignore fever and to seek medical consultation.
He emphasized that people in the district should not panic about the Nipah virus in Kerala as not all cases of fever will be treated as Nipah.
Only patients with acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) exhibiting high fever, seizures and altered consciousness will have their samples sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing.
The disease primarily spreads through direct contact with infected individuals, and can also be transmitted from pigs, fruit bats, cats, and horses.
Animals suffering from diseases should be isolated and suspected patients should be placed in isolation to prevent the disease’s spread.
Healthcare workers treating Nipah patients should wear masks and gloves to ensure safety.
District surveillance officer Dr Naveenchandra Kulal advised the public to refrain from consuming partially eaten fruits.
He stressed the importance of thoroughly cleaning fruits before consumption.
Additionally, he cautioned against consuming toddy from areas with a significant fruit bat population.
He said, “The death rate in Nipah infection is as high as 60%. No cases have been detected in the district since the Nipah outbreak was reported in Kerala in 2018. The disease can spread through bodily fluids like saliva, stool and urine. There is no specific treatment for Nipah virus, and patients are treated based on symptoms.”