Malappuram boy diagnosed with West Nile fever


A seven-year-old boy from Malappuram district has been diagnosed with West Nile fever, a relatively unknown viral infection in the Malabar region in recent times.

This comes around seven months after a woman from Kozhikode district was admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital here with suspected systems. Her blood results, however, did not confirm the presence of the virus. Mohamed Ismail, Deputy District Medical Officer, Malappuram, said the boy was undergoing treatment at the ICU of the medical college hospital. He had fever and cold since mid-February.

West Nile fever is spread by Culex mosquitoes and the infection could be confirmed only if the second samples test positive. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body, and swollen lymph glands.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says West Nile virus transmits to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Dr. Ismail said in 90% of the patients, the virus would not show any symptoms and the blood samples would be sent to laboratory only if patients developed complications. The presence of West Nile fever was first raised in Kerala over a decade ago in Kottayam and Alappuzha.

Health Department staff believe the source of Culex mosquitoes could be an uncovered pipe leading to the septic tank on the premises of the patient’s residence at Malappuram. Vector-control measures had been taken up in the area, Dr. Ismail added.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:33:24 PM |

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