Preparedness for West Nile fever reviewed

  1. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and officials from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reviewed the Kerala’s preparedness and actions taken to deal with West Nile Fever (WNF). The review comes in the backdrop of the recent death of a boy who was undergoing treatment for West Nile fever in Malappuram district, Kerala.
  2. The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is an institute under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  3. The functions of NCDC are: a) undertaking investigations of disease outbreaks across India, b) investigating and recommending control measures for the outbreak of various communicable diseases in the States/UTs in India. It also investigates and recommends measures to some neighbouring countries in the South East Asia Region. c) Providing referral diagnostic services to individuals, community, medical colleges, research institutions and state health directorates.
  4. Kerala has been advised to follow the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme guidelines of personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bite. It has also been recommended to carry out vector surveillance and control measures.
  5. The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is an umbrella programme for prevention and control of Vector borne diseases. It was launched in 2003. It covers 6 vector borne diseases viz. a) Malaria, b) Dengue, c) Chikungunya, d) Japanese Encephalitis, d) kala azar and e) Filaria.
  6. The West Nile fever is a zoonotic disease which is caused by the West Nile Virus. Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus (WNV). The virus transmits to humans through bites from infected Culex mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.