Home States Medical NewsKerala Kerala man has died as result of West Nile Virus | Know Everything About Mosquito-Borne Disease and Its Symptoms

Kerala man has died as result of West Nile Virus | Know Everything About Mosquito-Borne Disease and Its Symptoms

by Pragati Singh
Kerala is on high alert after a 47-year-old man died of West Nile disease in the Thrissur district on Sunday. This was the first death in the state caused by the mosquito-borne sickness in three years, according to health officials.
As a precautionary move, the state health department claimed it made a proactive decision and issued instructions to destroy mosquito breeding locations.
All you need to know about the West Nile Virus’ fever:
What is the West Nile Virus, and how does it spread?
The West Nile virus is a single-stranded RNA virus that is encapsulated and belongs to the Flaviviridae family. According to the Kerala health department, West Nile illness is carried by mosquitoes of the Culex species. According to the World Health Organization, it can cause a fatal brain condition in humans, but most infected people will not show any symptoms. Infected mosquito bites are the primary mode of transmission.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), WNV is the largest cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. Birds are natural hosts of WNV, according to the WHO, and the virus is maintained in a cycle of transmission between birds and mosquitoes. Humans, horses, and other mammals are all susceptible to infection.
While the bite of an infected mosquito is the most common way for humans to become sick, these vectors are more likely to spread the disease if they feed on infected birds. According to the WHO, WNV can also be spread through contact with other infected animals, their blood, or other tissues.
Humans may be exposed to the virus through organ transplantation, blood transfusion, or breast milk nursing. According to the WHO, one instance of WNV transmission from mother to child has been documented. Human-to-human transmission by physical contact, on the other hand, has yet to be documented. When health practitioners treat infected patients according to normal protocol for infectious diseases, there are no documented incidents of infection. However, laboratory employees have been reported to have been infected with WNV.
What are the signs and symptoms?
According to reports, the guy in Kerala suffered from fever and other symptoms on May 17 and was admitted to the government medical college in Thrissur, where he was diagnosed with West Nile fever after receiving treatment from multiple facilities.
However, around 80% of individuals infected with WNV will not display any symptoms, and those infected with WNV will not feel ill. According to the WHO, fever, headache, weariness, and body aches, as well as nausea, vomiting, an occasional skin rash (on the trunk of the body), and enlarged lymph nodes, are all symptoms. Headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis are all symptoms of a more serious condition. Incubation lasts 3 to 14 days on average.
How is WNV diagnosed?
WNV can be diagnosed using a variety of methods, including IgM antibody capture ELISAs, neutralisation assays, viral detection by RT-PCR, and virus isolation by cell culture. According to the WHO, IgM can be found in nearly all cerebrospinal fluid and serum specimens from infected patients.
How was it discovered?
The vector-borne disease was first diagnosed in a lady in Uganda in 1937, according to the Kerala health department’s WNV statement. In 1953, it was discovered in birds in the Nile delta region, according to the WHO. In Israel, a highly virulent strain killed various bird species with symptoms of encephalitis and paralysis prior to 1997.
Infections in humans, on the other hand, have been recorded in a number of nations for more than 50 years. According to the WHO, the largest outbreaks occurred along important bird migratory routes in Greece, Israel, Romania, Russia, and the United States. Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and West Asia are all hotspots for WNV.
What are the ways to avoid contracting WNV?
There are no vaccinations or drugs available to prevent or treat WNV in humans. In the absence of a vaccination, there are a number of health precautions that can be taken. Public health interventions and public awareness campaigns can help to lower the virus’s risk and exposure.
Eliminating mosquito breeding places, clearing clogged drains, and draining pools of stagnant water in the surrounding area can lower the risk of mosquito transmission. Mosquito nets and repellents must be made available to the general public. Wearing light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as avoiding outside activities during peak hours when mosquitoes are more active, can help prevent bites.
In locations where WNV or any other vector-borne disease is regularly reported, mosquito surveillance and control programmes must be mandated.
What is Kerala’s response?
Following the death of a man in the Thrissur district, Kerala has asked for public cooperation to combat the vector-borne disease. Veena George, the state’s health minister, has urged residents to keep their surroundings clean so mosquitoes can’t spawn. She also requested that they clear any clogged drains or standing water.
Kerala is on high alert, and the state’s health department says it has issued orders to eradicate all mosquito breeding areas.
The victim’s neighbourhood was visited by a special team from the medical office, and the district vector control board obtained samples from various parts of the district for testing. “Mosquito breeding places in the area have been destroyed,” according to an official press statement. All districts have been instructed to stay alert and take all necessary precautions, including declaring a dry day if required.

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