Fever gereric
West Nile fever symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pixabay

Malappuram (Kerala): In response to the reported cases of West Nile fever in three districts of Kerala — Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Thrissur — the State Health Department has issued an alert and instructed authorities to intensify pre-monsoon cleaning activities. During a high-level meeting of the health department, State Health Minister Veena George ordered the ramping up of pre-monsoon cleaning efforts.

In addition to these measures, the health department has been directed to conduct coordinated activities with district administrations and local self-government bodies. The District Vector Control Unit has been collecting samples from various locations for testing, and it has also been tasked with enhancing awareness activities.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

Since 2011, cases of West Nile Fever have been reported in various districts of the state, so there is no immediate cause for alarm. The health minister also urged anyone experiencing fever or other symptoms to seek treatment promptly.

Two years ago, Kerala reported a death due to West Nile fever. The fever, spread by the Culex species of mosquitoes, had previously claimed a life in Kerala in 2019.

Also read

The West Nile Virus, commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and West Asia, was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937. It was later identified in birds (crows and Columbiformes) in the Nile Delta region in 1953, according to the World Health Organization.

The World Health Organisation also states that about 20% of people infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body), and swollen lymph glands.

Symptoms of severe disease, also known as neuroinvasive disease, such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis, include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis, as per the World Health Organization’s guidelines.