West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus

News: The Kerala health department is on alert after the death of a 47-year-old from Thrissur due to the West Nile Virus. The virus was first reported in the state in Alappuzha in 2006 and then in Ernakulam in 2011.

About:
• The West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne, single-stranded RNA virus.
• It is ‘a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese Encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae’.
• Culex species of mosquito’s act as the principal vectors for transmission.
• It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes between and among humans and animals, including birds, which are the reservoir host of the virus.
• WNV can also spread through blood transfusion, from an infected mother to her child, or through exposure to the virus in laboratories.

Symptoms:
• The disease is asymptomatic in 80% of the infected people.
• In rest of the 20% cases, the symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, rash, and swollen glands.

Preventive Measures:
• This vector-borne disease can be prevented by protecting one-self from mosquito bites.
• Other steps are wearing clothing that acts as a barrier to exposure to bites, reducing breeding sites, covering water storage containers and eliminating puddles and drainage of places where water accumulates. 

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