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State issues alert to city, district hospitals

Kolkata: The state health department has issued an alert to intensify surveillance to combat Nipah virus.
In case of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), the case should be urgently investigated to rule out the prevalent causes of AES before testing for NIV and such cases should be informed to the state Health department immediately.
The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) of state government will guide the districts in case of sample testing is needed and the subsequent follow up action.
Copies of the instructions have been sent to all the districts. The Director of IPGMER and School of Tropical Medicine have been intimated. The principal of all medical colleges in the city and the superintendent of Shambhu Nath Pandit Hospital have also been informed. Dr Shanta Dutta, director, national Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases said Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital authorities have been asked to set up an isolation ward and keep N 95 masks ready. A Rapid Action team has been made. The CMOH in the districts have been asked to prepare a list of people who have come from Kerala within 21 days. Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital has been made the nodal hospital.
Dr Dutta said there is no cure for Nipah virus yet. Hence, preventive measures should be taken. There are only three places in the country where the blood samples can be collected to find out the virus.
They are at Manipal, Bhopal and Pune. There is no BSL 4 laboratory in the state and if the state government wants, then the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases can collect the samples and send them for testing.
The state health department has also instructed the hospitals, both in the city and districts, to keep N 95 masks ready. The state government has already issues do's and don't's. The doctors have asked people not to panic but as prevention is always better, elaborate arrangements have been made to combat the disease.

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