Alert after boy dies of West Nile fever
19, Mar 2019
Prelims level : Health / Biotech Mains level : GS - III
A six-year-old in Kerala, who had tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), died in Kozhikode.
About West Nile Virus:
- West Nile virus (WNV) is an infectious virus spread by infected mosquitoes. It spreads from birds to humans with the bite of an infected Culex mosquito.
- The symptoms include a fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph glands.
- The symptoms can lead to St. Louis encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, meningitis and yellow fever.
- Humans, horses and other mammals can be infected.
- West Nile virus was first isolated in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937.
- WNV is commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and West Asia.
- The virus is now widely reported from Canada to Venezuela.
Spread in India:
- WNV is highly prevalent in India since 1970s. It had been reported from states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat,Odisha.
- Presence of WNV was documented in north- eastern region of India during the year 2006 from four districts of Assam.
- There are no specific vaccines or treatments for human WNV disease.
- The best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.