Directorate of Health Services, Kerala issues guidelines for proper laboratory sample collection, transportation and diagnosis of NIPAH Virus

In light of the recent events, the Directorate of Health Services, Kerala has issued guidelines for proper laboratory sample collection, transport guidelines and diagnosis of NIPAH Virus to avoid further outbreaks of the infection.

The Directorate of Health Services, Kerala, through the guidelines have declared the designated Nipah Virus (NiV) testing facility for the state to be NIV Alappuzha, the address of which is mentioned below:

NIV Kerala unit, 2nd Floor E Block,

Govt. TD Medical College Vandanam,

Alappuzha 688055.

Key Highlights:

Sample Collection Samples must be dispatched to NIV Alappuzha (address mentioned above): Transportation and Storage of Samples
1.    The samples must be collected as early as possible (preferably within 4 days) with all bio-safety precautions, accompanied with detailed history of patients on the proforma which can be obtained from the testing laboratory.


2.    Sample collection must be done only after admission in an appropriately secure isolation facility and ensuring that the staff member doing the collection is using adequate Personal Protective Equipment.


3.    During sample collection wear complete disposable Personal Protective Equipment (N 95 mask, double surgical gloves, gowns, goggles foot cover, etc). Wash hands with soap and water at least for 30 seconds and then clean hand using 1-2 ml alcohol based hand sanitizer before and after collection of samples.


4.    Exercise special carefulness while taking off Personal Protective Equipment components after doing a sample collection / nursing procedure.


5.    The recommended samples are

· Throat swab in viral transport medium

· Urine 5 ml in universal sterile container

· Blood in red vacutainer (5ml)

· CSF (1-2 ml) in sterile container

1.    Any general doubts can be clarified from DSO of the district (numbers can be obtained from DISHA NHM Health dept helpline, 0471-255 2056).


2.    For the districts, DSO is the final authority to advise on need of sample testing, dispatch to NIV, etc

1.    Samples must be safely packed in triple container packing and must be transported securely under cold chain (2-8°C) to the testing laboratory with prior intimation.


2.    Sample containing vials, tightly closed, should be kept in good quality zip-lock bags wrapped with sufficient absorbent cotton padding so that inside material should not come out of bag if it leaks.


3.    The plastic bag should be kept in another Zip-lock bag similarly, which should be sealed with adhesive tape. This carrier should be placed in a hard container sealed with impermeable tape or plaster and placed in thermocol box / vaccine carrier containing ice packs.


4.    The case sheets with complete information should be placed in plastic bag and should be pasted outside the container.


5.    Samples should be transported at 2-8°C to the designated lab within 24 hours


This version of Nipah Virus Guidelines takes precedence over all earlier versions of the State Guidelines with effect from 3rd June, 2019].

Source Directorate of Health Services, Kerala


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