Alert in Malappuram after boy dies of West Nile fever

  1. The Health Department has issued an alert in Malappuram district, Kerala, after a boy undergoing treatment for West Nile fever died. The West Nile fever is a zoonotic disease. It is caused by the West Nile Virus. Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus (WNV).
  2. According to world Health Organization (WHO) West Nile virus transmits to humans through bites from infected Culex mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. It may also be transmitted through contact with other infected animals, their blood, or other tissues. However, according to WHO, no human-to—human transmission from casual contact has not been documented.
  3. Symptoms of the virus infection include cold, fever, fatigue and nausea. It can cause fatal neurological disease in humans.
  4. West Nile Virus was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937. An epidemic of WNV was reported in humans in Israel in 1951.
  5. The Animal Husbandry Department in Kerala has been directed to keep a surveillance on birds, especially in areas such as the Kadalundy bird sanctuary. The Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is located in the Kozhikode District. It spreads over a cluster of islands where Kadalundipuzha River meets with the Arabian Sea.