Veena George | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Hours after Kerala on Sunday reported the death of a person due to West Nile fever, Kerala Health minister Veena George said that controlling the growth of mosquitoes and carrying out source destruction are essential to prevent this illness.
Minister Veena George has clarified that there is no cause for concern.
In a press release on Sunday, George said, "Mosquito control and source destruction are essential to control West Nile fever. However, there's no need to worry. Districts have been warned to be vigilant. West Nile fever is characterized by symptoms similar to those of Japanese fever. But the disease is not as serious as Japanese fever. But be careful."
"The state has already issued a precautionary measure as there is a risk of contagious diseases due to climate change. Our defensive measures should be strengthened. Emphasis should be placed on the source destruction of mosquitoes. Individuals should keep their homes and surroundings clean. The water should not look stagnant," she wrote.
The minister also requested the people of the state that if they experience fever or other symptoms of the illness, then they should opt for treatment at hospitals.
When the West Nile outbreak was suspected in Thrissur district, a special team from the district medical office had visited the patient's area of Kannara and intensified preventive measures. The District Vector Control Unit collected samples from different parts and sent them for testing, she said.
"All team members carried out mosquito eradication activities in and around the patient's home as the area was found to be prone to mosquito-borne diseases. Health workers at Vellanikkara Community Health Center were instructed to conduct proper fieldwork, source destruction activities, fever survey and health education classes in the area," she added.
Kerala on Sunday reported the death of a person due to West Nile fever in what was the first fatality attributed to the vector-borne disease in recent times. The victim, Puthanpurackal Joby (47), was a native of Panancheri in Thrissur district.
The state health department has sounded an alert in the wake of the death. West Nile fever, spread by the Culex species of mosquitoes, had earlier claimed a life in Kerala in 2019.