West Nile fever: Health Ministry reviews Kerala's preparedness

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MALAPPURAM: In the wake of the death of a six-year-old boy who was undergoing treatment for West Nile fever in Kerala, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with officials from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reviewed the current situation, preparedness and action taken to deal with the disease in the state’s Malappuram district.


The Ministry has disputed a multi-disciplinary public health team to investigate various epidemiological aspects of West Nile Virus in the district and state.

According to a press statement issued on Tuesday, the state has been advised to follow the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) guidelines of personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites.

The Ministry has also recommended vector surveillance and control to be carried out in coordination with NVBDCP.

"It has been advised that all cases of JE/AES are to be investigated as per guidelines of JE/AES and tested for West Nile Virus. Further, the community is to be sensitized through IEC campaigns on use of personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites as per NVBDCP Guidelines," the release read.

On Monday, a 6-year-old boy Muhammad Shan, who has been tested positive for West Nile fever had succumbed to death at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

This illness, which is caused by the West Nile virus, is transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

West Nile fever is spread by Culex mosquitoes and the infection could be confirmed only if the second samples test positive.

The symptoms of this desease are fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, occasional skin rash and swollen lymph glands.

The presence of West Nile fever was first raised in Kerala over a decade ago in Kottayam and Alappuzha.

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