A seven-year-old boy in Kerala’s Mallapuram district who had tested positive for the West Nile Virus died at Kozhikode Medical College and Hospital on Monday, the Hindustan Times reported. The government has issued a high alert in the state’s north Malabar region.
Mallapuram Deputy Medical Officer Dr Ismail told The News Minute that Mohammad Shan died around 3 am. He had been put on ventilator and his condition had improved over the last two days, Mathrubhumi reported. Doctors had said he might be taken off the ventilator. However, Shan’s condition worsened early on Monday.
The virus is transmitted to human beings through mosquito bites, according to the United States-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are no vaccines to prevent the infection or medications to treat it. Around 20% of those infected develop fever. About one out of 150 patients contract a serious disease, which can sometimes be fatal.
“There is no need to panic,” said state Health Minister KK Shylaja. “The boy was in isolation ward for the last 10 days. We are on high alert and going by the protocol of the World Health Organization.” She added that the state government is in constant touch with the Union health ministry.
On March 14, the Centre had dispatched a team to Kerala to review the situation and also help the state manage the infection. Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda was monitoring the situation closely, the central government had said.