After 47-year-old man dies due to West Nile fever, Kerala on alert

In a first fatality case caused by West Nile fever in the last three years, a 47-year-old man died due to the vector-borne infection in Kerala’s Thrissur district, on Sunday. The state Health Department has issued directions for people to eliminate mosquito breeding sites to prevent the disease, news agency PTI reported.

According to reports, West Nile Fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by flavivirus WNV and is related to viruses that cause Japanese Encephalitis, yellow fever and St Louis encephalitis. While the fever was first detected in 1937 in Uganda, in Kerala it was first detected in 2011. Due this virus, a six-year-old boy from Malappuram had died in 2019.

As soon as a case of West Nile fever was detected in Thrissur district, the Health Department said it has taken proactive measures.

“A special team from the medical office visited the locality of the victim and the district vector control board took samples from various parts of the district for testing. Steps were taken to destroy the mosquito breeding sites in the locality,” it said.

The man developed fever and other symptoms on May 17, after getting treatment from various hospitals, sources told PTI. He was later admitted to the government medical college in the district, where he was diagnosed with West Nile fever.

Kerala Health Department has directed the district authorities to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures.

State Health Minister Veena George said, “Importance should be given to destroying the mosquito breeding sites everywhere. Individuals should take responsibility and clean their residential areas. Clogged drains, stagnant water should be cleared,” PTI reported.

George also added that the West Nile fever can cause a fatal neurological disease in humans. However, most of those infected will not show any symptoms. The virus is mainly transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

According to the Kerala Health Department West Nile fever is spread by the Culex species of mosquitoes.

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