CHENNAI: A day after Nipah virus claimed the life of a boy in Kerala, the Directorate of Public Health on Monday issued guidelines to all deputy directors of health services (DDHS) to contain the spread of the virus. The officials were told to screen people entering Tamil Nadu from Kerala for symptoms of Nipah.

The DDHS of Kanyakumari, Tenkasi, Theni, The Nilgiris, Coimbatore and Tiruppur were instructed to ensure screening teams are deployed on all roads bordering Kerala. They were told to collect throat swabs, and urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from people suspected to have the virus, within four or five days of the onset of illness, while adhering to biosafety precautions.

“The samples should be sent to the State Public Health Laboratory, Chennai, for screening and preliminary investigation, and the National Institute of Virology, Pune for confirmation,” the guidelines said.The officials were told to raise awareness regarding possible risk factors, such as consumption of raw date palm juice, close personal contact with patients, and contact with domestic animals, especially pigs, dogs, and cattle.
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