Kerala Current Affairs - 2019
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A seven-year-old in Kerala has been detected with the West Nile Virus. The central government has sent the team to the state and is monitoring the case closely.
What is West Nile Virus?
West Nile Virus is a viral infection which typically spread by mosquitoes and results in neurological disease as well as death in people.
The Virus is the member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae. It was first detected in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937 and was later identified in birds (crows and Columbiformes) in the Nile delta region in 1953.
Spread of Disease
The disease spreads through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are infected when they feed on infected birds. The virus then circulates in blood and multiplies. The virus also travels to salivary glands from where it is injected into humans as well as animals through mosquito bites. There have been no reports of human-to-human transmission through casual contact till date. But a small proportion of human infections have reported through organ transplant, blood transfusions and breast milk while one case of transplacental.
People infected with WNV suffer from fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands. In case of severe West Nile disease, the patient suffers from headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. One in 150 persons infected with the virus will develop a severe form of the disease, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat the infection.
With the Election Commission of India announcing the polling dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force.
Model Code of Conduct
- Model Code of Conduct refers to a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections.
- A version of Model code of conduct was first introduced in the assembly elections in Kerala in 1960. These guidelines were largely followed by the political parties during the 1962 Lok Sabha Elections. Further in 1979 the Election Commission of India added a section to regulate the ‘party in power’ and prevent it from gaining an unfair advantage at the time of elections.
- MCC comes into effect from the date the election schedule is announced and will be in force until the date that results are out.
- MCC contains eight provisions dealing with general conduct, meetings, processions, polling day, polling booths, observers, the party in power, and election manifestos.
- As soon as the MCC kicks in, the Central and State governments are bound to ensure that they doesn’t use their official position and status for campaigning.
- Those in power cannot combine their official visits with those related to campaigning for the purpose of elections.
The biggest drawback of the MCC is lack of statutory backing. This imposes limitations on Election Commission to procced againt those violating the norms of MCC. Hence Election Commission is bound to use moral sanction or censure for its enforcement.