Lini PN, the 30-year-old nurse from Kerala who died after contracting Nipah virus, while treating patients during its outbreak in the state last year, was posthumously awarded National Florence Nightingale Award-2019 on December 5 (Thursday). In 2018, the outbreak of Nipah Virus was first reported in Kerala which claimed 17 lives including Lini’s.
President Ram Nath Kovind handed over the award to Lini’s husband Sajeesh Puthur during the award ceremony held in Delhi.
The Florence Nightingale Award is presented as a mark of recognition for meritorious services by nurses in the country. This year, apart from Lini, 35 other nurses including auxiliary nurse midwives and lady health visitors, from different states and union territories, feted with the award.
President Kovind presents National Florence Nightingale Awards 2019 in New Delhi; says the country is grateful to the nursing community for their dedication and selfless services to fellow citizens. https://t.co/oOwEZBK4Hy pic.twitter.com/mLTkHXWzC8
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) December 5, 2019
Lini was a nurse at EMS Memorial Cooperative hospital in Kozhikode’s Perambra, where the first case of Nipah virus was reported. Lini was attending to Mohammed Sadik, the first person believed to have been affected by the deadly virus. Soon after, she contracted the disease and succumbed to death.
Acknowledging her service to the field, the state government of Kerala has also instituted an award named ‘Sister Lini Memorial Award’.
Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus that is transmitted from animals to humans. It can be transmitted directly through contaminated food or directly between people. Transmission of Nipah virus to humans can also happen through physical contact, especially by contact with body fluids. Nipah virus is at biosafety level of 4, which means it is highly contagious.
The disease is known to have a mortality rate as high as 70%. There is no vaccine to prevent the infection, and the treatment is also largely symptomatic. In 2018, the Nipah virus infection was limited to the two districts of Kozhikode and Malappuram.