Coronavirus – Disease, Medical Sciences Involved & Preventive Measures

West Nile Virus outbreak in Russia

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : West Nile Virus

Mains level : NA

Russia warned of a possible increase in West Nile virus infections this autumn as mild temperatures and heavy precipitation create favorable conditions for the mosquitos that carry it.

West Nile virus (WNV)

  • WNV is mainly transmitted through mosquito bites and can lead to fatal neurological diseases in humans, although most people infected never develop any symptoms.
  • Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.

Its origin

  • Originally from Africa, the WNV has spread to Europe, Asia, and North America.
  • It was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937.
  • It was identified in birds in the Nile delta region in 1953.
  • Before 1997, WNV was not considered pathogenic for birds.
  • Human infections attributable to WNV have been reported in many countries for over 50 years.

Symptoms

  • Infected persons usually have no symptoms or mild symptoms.
  • Some of the symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph glands.
  • They can last a few days to several weeks and usually, go away on their own.
  • Prolonged illness may cause inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis, or inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called meningitis.

Treatment

  • There is no vaccine against the virus in humans although one exists for horses, the WHO says.

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