Thiruvananthapuram: The monoclonal antibodies which are the only treatment against Nipah infection will be developed indigenously to combat the deadly virus, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Wednesday (October 25). George revealed that a decision had been taken by two national and a Kerala government institute to develop monoclonal antibodies. The Kerala government’s Institute of Advanced Virology, the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) and the National Institute of Virology in Pune would be involved in the effort, she said.
The minister said it was being considered to develop the antibodies using the cells of patients who recovered from the virus which infected six persons, of whom two died, in Kozhikode district of the state last month.
The minister said the monoclonal antibodies were presently being imported from Australia where they are made according to the Nipah variant present there. She further said,
We need to manufacture it indigenously for the variant seen here.
The virus strain seen in Kerala was the Bangladesh variant, which has a high mortality rate of around 70-90 per cent.
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NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.