West Nile virus takes life of a 7-year-old in Kozhikode
A seven-year-old boy, Mohamad Shan, who was tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) last week, died today morning. Shan, from Malappuram district of Kerala, was going through treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College. High alert is issued in the region after Shan's death. Although no other cases are registered yet, preventive measures are intensified across Kerala. Here are the details.
Prevention from mosquitoes is the only cure for WNV
The West Nile Fever, caused by West Nile Virus, is a vector-borne disease, i.e., it is spread to humans from animals who feed on blood, like mosquitoes. Although the symptoms are high fever, headaches, body aches, swollen lymph glands and skin rash, it is when the virus enters the brain that it becomes life-threatening. Prevention is the best and only cure in this case.
Shan was responding to treatment before losing to WNV
Coming back to Shan, he was diagnosed with WNV around 10 days ago and was in isolation since then. According to reports, he was kept on ventilator but was responding to the treatment. Although doctors were observing progress since last two days, his condition worsened today. According to a senior health officer, all in contact with Shan, including his parents, are currently under observation.
No need to panic, state's health minister says
KK Shailaja, Kerala's Health Minister, has assured that they are in constant touch with the Union Health Ministry and are following the protocol of the World Health Organization. She said, "No need to panic. The boy was in isolation ward for last 10 days."
Kerala on high-alert after Shan's death, safety kits being arranged
After Shan tested positive, the Health Ministry had sent a team of multi-disciplinary doctors from the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) last week. The team was sent to help Kerala's Health Authorities to manage the disease. After a high-level meet, arrangements for safety kits and isolation wards are being made by all the hospitals. Notably, Shan's case is the first-ever registered in India.
WNV first detected in Uganda's West Nile district in 1937
Seven months ago, a woman was admitted in Kozhikode but, was tested negative. WNV's first case was detected in Uganda's West Nile district in 1937. WNV has occurred in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America. In US, thousands of cases are reported a year.