THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state Health Department landed in a soup after two international medical journals reported that the actual number of deaths due to the Nipah outbreak is much more than the state had claimed. However, the government maintained that its figures were based on reports confirmed by the laboratory and ruled out any confusion.
The reports, in collaboration with the Secretary of Health, also suggest that it is suspected that another health worker, in addition to nurse Lini Sajeesh, succumbed to Nipah. The government's claim to identify the outbreak with the second case itself is being questioned.
After two international medical journals declared that Nipah's deaths in the state were higher than the official number, the family of an assistant radiologist, who died during the outbreak, claimed that he had succumbed to the deadly virus infection.
After an article co-authored by Additional Principal Secretary (Health) Rajeev Sadanandan in the magazines that sparked controversy, T Vinod Kumar, husband of assistant radiologist Sudha, said he contracted the disease of Mohammad Sabith, suspected of being the index case of the infection virus.
Although Sabith died on May 5, the Nipah infection was diagnosed only after his brother Mohammed Salih also died on May 17.
Vinod told & # 39; Express & # 39; that his wife Sudha had treated Sabith when he was admitted to the Medical College. "She had been working as an assistant radiologist. "He became ill on May 12 and became critical on May 17. He died on May 19. He had shown the same symptoms as other patients infected with Nipah," he said.
If it is shown that Vinod's claim is true, Sudha would be the first health worker to die due to a Nipah infection. According to official records, the first and only health personnel to succumb to the fatal viral infection is nurse Lini Puthussery.
When Express contacted Health Services Director R L Saritha to confirm whether Sudha's samples were sent for detailed analysis, she said it could not be confirmed immediately. "The samples were collected and sent to Manipal by the doctors of the Medical College. We have to review the documents to verify this, "he added.
Vinod said he had requested his wife's work and that the process is underway. "I am working temporarily at Kozhikode Medical College Hostel, it would be very helpful if the government grants me the work of my wife for whom I requested." I would also like to meet with the Minister of Health KK Shailaja to seek his help in solving his problems. , He said.