One person dies of West Nile fever in Thrissur

Tags: Science and Technology

The health department has been alerted after one person died of West Nile fever, a mosquito-borne disease, in Thrissur's Panancheri panchayat on May 29.

  • About West Nile Virus

  • West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne, single-stranded RNA virus.

  • As per WHO, it is a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese Encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae. 

  • Transmission of virus

  • The Culex species of mosquitoes serves as the major carrier for transmission.

  • It is transmitted through infected mosquitoes to humans, animals and birds.

  • Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds and circulate the virus in their blood for a few days.

  • The virus eventually moves into the mosquito's salivary glands.

  • When mosquitoes bite, the virus enters the body of humans and animals where there is a rapid increase in the number of viruses that cause disease.

  • The virus can also be spread by blood transfusion, from an infected mother to her child, or through exposure to the virus in laboratories.

  • Symptoms

  • In 80% of the infected people the disease is asymptomatic.

  • Symptoms seen in 20% of cases include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, rash and swollen glands.

  • Severe infection can lead to encephalitis, meningitis, paralysis, and even death.

  • It usually becomes fatal in individuals with co-morbidities and in immune-compromised individuals (e.g. transplant patients).

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