New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with the officials from National Centre for Disease Control reviewed the current situation, state preparedness and action taken to deal with West Nile Fever (WNF) in Malappuram district, Kerala. MOHFW deputed a multi-disciplinary public health team to Malappuram District to investigate various epidemiological aspects of West Nile Virus in the district and State.
The State has been advised to follow the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme guidelines of personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites. The Ministry has also recommended vector surveillance and control to be carried out in coordination with NVBDCP. All cases of JE/AES are to be investigated as per guidelines of JE/ AES and also tested for West Nile Virus. Further, the community is to be sensitized through IEC campaigns on use of personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites as per NVBDCP Guidelines.
West Nile Fever is a mosquito borne zoonotic disease caused by a flavivirus -West Nile Virus. This virus is related to viruses that cause Japanese Encephalitis, yellow fever and St. Louis encephalitis. Human infection is most often due to bites from infected mosquitoes. To date, no human-to-human transmission of WNV through casual contact has been documented. Infection with WNV is either asymptomatic in around 80% of infected people, or can lead to West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease.
Testing for West Nile Virus is available at the National Institute of Virology, Pune and National Institute of Virology, Alappuzha. Facility for xeno-diagnosis with respect to infection among vectors is available at VCRC, Kottayam. NCDC branch in Kozhikkode, in coordination with VCRC, Kottayam, will provide assistance for vector surveillance and xeno-diagnosis in the vector as well as prepare and disseminate a standardised hospital management protocol of AES case management to be followed by all hospitals catering to cases of AES.