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Alert against West Nile fever in Kerala

The main symptoms of West Nile infection are headache, fever, muscle aches, dizziness and loss of memory, but most patients do not experience these, according to a statement issued by the health minister. 
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 12:13 IST
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 12:13 IST

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An alert against West Nile fever has been sounded in Kerala after several persons were tested positive for the disease in three districts.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the disease was reported in Malappuram, Kozhikode and Thrissur districts.

Sources said that except one, all the infected persons have recovered.

The vector-borne disease has been reported in Kerala several times earlier. In 2022, a 47-year-old person died of the disease in Thrissur district. The disease mainly spreads through mosquitos.

As part of the vigil against the disease, the health minister has asked the concerned officials to speed up mosquito-control activities.

The minister said that there was no need to be worried, but requested anyone showing signs of fever or other symptoms of the infection to seek immediate treatment.

The main symptoms of West Nile infection are headache, fever, muscle aches, dizziness and loss of memory, but most patients do not experience these, according to a statement issued by the health minister.

It said that instructions to begin pre-monsoon cleaning activities were already given in a high-level meeting held last week and now, the District Medical Officers (DMOs) have been directed to intensify the same.

As there is no medicine or vaccine available against West Nile virus, symptomatic treatment and prevention are key.

Earlier in the day, Kozhikode district health officials confirmed reports of five cases of West Nile fever there.

The infected persons, which included children, are all fine now and back at their homes with no new cases reported from the areas they live in.

The samples of those who exhibited symptoms of the disease and had undergone treatment were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune as a routine exercise.

"The results came back now and indicated that they were suffering from West Nile fever. They are all better now," an official said.

The West Nile fever is spread by the Culex species of mosquitoes. It was first detected in 1937 in Uganda.

The fever was first detected in Kerala in 2011 and a six-year-old boy from Malappuram died due to the fever in 2019.

(With agency inputs)

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Published 07 May 2024, 12:13 IST

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