WEST NILE FEVER (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     8th May 2024        

Context: The Kerala government issued an alert in the State against West Nile fever, a mosquito-borne viral infection, after one death and around eight cases were reported from Kozhikode, Malappuram and Thrissur districts in recent days.

West Nile Fever

  • About: It is an infection by the West Nile virus
  • Symptoms: High fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. 

o Most of the symptoms are similar to that of Japanese Encephalitis. However, 80% of the patients need not show any symptoms.

  • Spread by: Culex species of mosquitoes. As per the World Health Organisation, human infection is most often the result of bites from the infected mosquitoes.
  • Transmission: Via mosquito bites. Birds are considered the natural hosts of the virus on whom mosquitoes prey and become infected.

o There has been no human-to-human transmission so far. 

  • Treatment: The WHO says that the treatment is supportive for patients with neuro-invasive West Nile virus, often involving hospitalisation, intravenous fluids, respiratory support, and prevention of secondary infections. No vaccine is available for humans.
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