Health Ministry reviews the preparedness on West Nile Fever in Kerala

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 20, 2019

Following the death on Monday of a six-year-old boy, who was being treated for West Nile Virus (WNV) disease in Kozhikode, Kerala, the  Ministry of Health & Family Welfare with the officials from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reviewed here on Tuesday the state of preparedness and action taken to deal with the incidence of the disease in Mallapuram district of the state.
The Ministry has deputed a multi-disciplinary public health team to Mallapuram to investigate various epidemiological aspects of West Nile Virus in the district and State, an official press release said.
Kerala has been advised to follow the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) guidelines of personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites, it said.
These guidelines are available at NVBDCP website.
The Ministry has also recommended vector surveillance and control to be carried out in coordination with NVBDCP. All cases of JE/AES are to be investigated as per guidelines of JE/ AES and also tested for West Nile Virus.
Further, the community is to be sensitized through IEC campaigns on the use of personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites as per NVBDCP Guidelines.
West Nile Fever is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease caused by a flavivirus -- West Nile Virus (WNV). This virus is related to viruses that cause Japanese Encephalitis, yellow fever and St. Louis encephalitis.
Human infection is most often due to bites from infected mosquitoes. To date, no human-to-human transmission of WNV through casual contact has been documented. Infection with WNV is either asymptomatic (no symptoms) in around 80% of infected people or can lead to West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease.
Testing for West Nile Virus is available at the National Institute of Virology, Pune and National Institute of Virology, Alapuzha. Facility for xeno-diagnosis with respect to infection among vectors is available at VCRC, Kottayam.
NCDC branch in Kozhikode, in coordination with VCRC, Kottayam, will provide assistance for vector surveillance and xeno-diagnosis in the vector as well as prepare and disseminate a standardised hospital management protocol of AES case management to be followed by all hospitals catering to cases of AES, the release added.

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