West Nile Virus spotted in Pakistan
They found samples of the virus after analysing 1,070 serum samples drawn from blood donors in the Punjab province from 2016 to 2018.
“Transmission through human blood transfusion poses grave risks.” Muhammad Saqib, University of FaisalabadRelated topics DiseaseHealthDataSystems[ISLAMABAD] Researchers who detected the West Nile Virus (WNV) in Pakistan for the first time are calling for urgent, coordinated surveillance to assess the distribution in the country of the virus known to cause deadly neurological disease.Spread by mosquitoes, WNV infection is generally asymptomatic.
Muhammad Saqib , assistant professor at the University of Faisalabad , Pakistan and one of the authors of the study, tells SciDev.Net that while traditionally the mosquito bite is the primary cause of WNV infection, blood transfusion is an important mode of transmission in Pakistan.
“These efforts aim to map out disease distribution, develop diagnostic and reporting facilities at national and provincial levels and come up with suggestions for the government .”
But in about 20 per cent of cases, fever, headache and vomiting develop; less than one per cent of these cases lead to potentially fatal neurological complications.