A section of the media has reported that a seven year old boy from Malappuram District of Kerala is suffering from a West Nile Virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne disease, mostly reported in the continental United States. Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare is closely monitoring the situation and has reviewed it with Secretary (HFW) Ms. Preeti Sudan. He has directed for all support to be extended to Kerala in its prevention and management.
  1. Secretary (HFW) held a meeting with Additional Chief Secretary Shri Rajeev Sadanandan, Kerala and reviewed the situation. The Health Ministry has dispatched a multi-disciplinary Central team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). 
  2. West Nile virus can cause a fatal neurological disease in humans.
  3. However, approximately 80% of people who are infected will not show any symptoms.
  4. West Nile virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  5. The virus can cause severe disease and death in horses.
  6. Vaccines are available for use in horses but not yet available for people.
  7. Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus.
  8. West Nile Virus (WNV) was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937. It was identified in birds (crows and columbiformes) in Nile delta region in 1953.