Mosquito control crucial to stem West Nile spread

The Health Department is maintaining extreme vigil in Malappuram in the wake of West Nile fever. There is no need for panic, informed the department.  

Published: 19th March 2019 06:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2019 06:53 AM   |  A+A-

Dengue mosquito

Image for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Health Department is maintaining extreme vigil in Malappuram in the wake of West Nile fever. There is no need for panic, informed the department.  
A team comprising the state epidemiologist, district vector control unit and district veterinary unit had visited the area and precautions have been taken. A medical team of Kozhikode medical college hospital visited the six-year-old victim’s house.

READ MORE | Six-year-old West Nile Virus patient passes away in Kerala

The West Nile fever is a mosquito-borne disease. Casual contact with an infected person will not cause human-to-human transmission of the disease. It is estimated that approximately only one in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease. About 10 percent of patients who develop the severe form may succumb to the disease. Normally elders are affected by the disease. The disease is transmitted from birds to birds. Human infection is most often the result of bites from infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. The common transmitters of the disease are birds, including crow.

West Nile Virus (WNV) was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937. The disease was not confirmed in Kerala, although identical conditions were reported from Alappuzha in 2011 and Kozhikode 2018. 

Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands.

The symptoms of severe disease (also called neuroinvasive disease, such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis) include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. The disease can be cured if identified and treated in the beginning stage. People should seek immediate treatment in case of fever or uneasiness.  
Prevention requires mosquito surveillance and control programmes in areas where the virus occurs. 

Seek immediate care for fever: Shailaja
T’Puram: Health Minister K K Shailaja has directed the department director to intensify the activities to prevent the spread of West Nile virus. This is in the wake of the death of a six-year-old boy who was infected with the virus. The minister said prevention activities are in full swing and there is no need for panic. “A special medical team was  sent to Kozhikode soon after the infection was reported,” she said. hospitals have been directed to look for persons with symptoms of West Nile infection and provide specialised treatment. 

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