Kozhikode, Aug 3: A 24-year-old woman has been diagnosed with suspected West Nile viral (WNV) infection and is been kept under observation at Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode district of Kerala. Doctors have not confirmed until now.

According to Indian Express report, district medical officer at Kozhikode, Dr Jayasree V, said that if there is a four-fold increase in the antibody count in the second sample, only then can we say it is a West Nile infection. Right now, we are not 100% sure. But it is a suspected case.” She also said that the symptoms are the same as that of Japanese Encephalitis or Meningitis. The virus is spread through mosquitoes. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune which obtained the blood sample of the woman has confirmed the infection.

Recently, Nipah virus had hit Kerala which claimed many lives. Tourism of the state was also badly hit as an advisory was issued for the travellers stating not to travel to Kerala.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when people are infected with the West Nile virus, they may not exhibit any symptoms. However, there are some cases where the affected person may experience fever along with body aches, joint pain, headache, vomiting and diarrhoea. People with weak immune systems or those older than 60 years of age are more likely to be infected by the West Nile virus.

While doctors may prescribe painkillers, no vaccine has yet been discovered to treat the infection. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and birds.

Over 2000 patients from the United States were reported to be infected by the West Nile virus last year, with a death toll of 121 people. As per a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 24, 2018, people from Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas contracted the West Nile infection.