Summer season can increase the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases: HCFI

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Stagnant water is a potential breeding ground and should be checked

New Delhi, 26th May 2019: A seven-year-old boy from Kerala’s Malappuram district recently died from West Nile Fever. The West Nile Virus (WNV) apparently affected the boy’s nervous system which led to complications and a cardiac arrest.

According to the National Health Portal of India (NHPI), during an outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome in Kerala in May 2011, the presence of WNV was confirmed in clinical specimens. Since then, WNV encephalitis cases have regularly been reported in Kerala.

The mosquito Culex, which spreads the WNV, becomes more active in summer. The need of the hour is to increase mosquito surveillance and take preventive measures against them.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The risk of mosquito-acquired infections such as the West Nile fever increases in summer and therefore precautions are a must. The WNV is maintained in nature in a cycle involving transmission between birds and mosquitoes. Humans, horses and other mammals can also be infected. Humans acquire the infection through the bites from infected mosquitoes. The virus may also be transmitted through contact with other infected animals, their blood, or other tissues. Transmission may also occur through organ transplant, blood transfusions and breast milk. To date, no human-to-human transmission of WNV through casual contact has been documented. The infection may mimic either dengue or chikungunya.”

The initial symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, nausea, vomiting, skin rash on the trunk of the body (occasionally) and swollen lymph glands. As the condition becomes sever, they can develop neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The most effective way to prevent infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, treat clothing and gear and take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors.”

Mosquito cycle takes 7-12 days to complete. So, if any utensil or container that stores water is cleaned properly once in a week, there are no chances of mosquito breeding.

Some tips from HCFI

  • Mosquitoes can lay eggs in money plant pots or in water tanks on the terrace if they are not properly covered. If the water pots for birds kept on terraces are not cleaned every week, then mosquitoes can lay eggs in them.
  • Try using mosquito nets/repellents.
  • Wearing full sleeves shirt and trousers can prevent mosquito bites. Mosquito repellent can be helpful during the day.