Meet the hero’s who nipped Nipah in its bud

Three doctors played a key role in swiftly identifying the deadly Nipah virus that had claimed 4 members of a family at Perambra, it has emerged.

The virus was identified within two days of the death of the second victim, while in Bangladesh it took three years to confirm.

The doctors who led the effort to establish the virus were Dr A S Anoop Kumar, the chief of critical care department at the Baby Memorial Hospital in Kozhikode, Dr. C Jayakrishnan of its neurology department and Dr G Arun Kumar, the head of the department of viral research, at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.

Muhammad Salih, son of Moosa of Changaroth in Perambra, was rushed to Baby Memorial Hospital at 2.30 am on May 17. He was first attended by Dr Ajit K Gopal and Dr G Gangaprasad. They took an MRI scan as the patient showed signs of brain fever. Fluids were also drawn from the spine for tests. However, these tests remained conclusive.

At the same time, doctors sought more details as they came to know that Salih’s brother had died two weeks ago. It was at that stage that Dr Anoop and Dr Jayakrishnan summoned Moosa and his brother’s wife Mariam to the hospital.

Salih, under strict observation, was found to be having elevated levels of blood pressure and aggravated heart beat. While blood pressure drops during normal fever, here it was found to be the opposite. He was found sweating on particular parts of his body.

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