West Nile fever

Why is it in the news?

  • The Kerala government has issued an alert against West Nile fever, a mosquito-borne viral infection, after recent reports of one death and approximately eight cases in Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Thrissur districts.
  • According to the Health ministry, the infection has been reported in the state since 2011, and medical officers have intensified pre-monsoon cleaning drives.

More about the news

  • Symptoms of West Nile fever: High fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, muscle weakness, and paralysis. However, many patients may not display symptoms.
  • The disease spreads through the Culex species of mosquitoes, often transmitted to humans when the mosquitoes feed on infected birds.
  • The World Health Organization recommends supportive care for patients with neuro-invasive West Nile virus, including hospitalization, intravenous fluids, respiratory support, and prevention of secondary infections. Currently, there is no vaccine available for humans.
  • As there is no human-to-human transmission reported, prevention focuses on mosquito control measures and public awareness campaigns.

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