Health Ministry Closely Monitoring West Nile Virus, Here's All You Need To Know About It

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:


  • The virus is transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite and is mostly reported in North America
  • The boy from Malappuram district is undergoing treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital.

The Health Ministry is taking stock of the public health measures for controlling West Nile Virus, as Union Health Minister J.P.Nadda is reported to closely monitor the situation and has spoken to the Health Minister of Kerala in this regard.

A central team has been sent to Kerala, where a seven-year-old boy has reportedly tested positive for vector-borne West Nile virus, to review the situation and also help the district administration in its prevention and management.

What is West Nile Virus?

  • West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne disease is commonly spread to humans after the bite of an infected-mosquito. 
  • However, birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus.
  • The virus can cause severe disease and death in horses, according to WHO
  • In this virus, most infected people do not feel sick and only 1 in 5 develop a fever.
  • Only 1 out of 150 infected people may develop a serious illness.
  • Affected people complain of fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally a skin rash and swollen lymph glands.
  • It is commonly found in Africa, Europe, Middle East, North America, and West Asia.

The boy from Malappuram district is undergoing treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital.

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A health ministry statement said the Centre is closely monitoring the situation and Union Health Minister J P Nadda has directed for all support to be extended to Kerala for prevention and management of the disease.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan spoke to Additional Chief Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan in Kerala and took stock of public health measures for controlling the spread of the virus, the statement said.

The Health Ministry has dispatched a four-member multi-disciplinary central team from National Centre for Disease Control. The team will support the state health authorities in managing the disease.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has also been alerted and a close watch is being maintained at the central and state levels, the statement said.

"There are no reports available so far about the spread of this virus in other parts of the country," it said.

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