The National Institute of Virology's unit in Kerala has detected and confirmed through full genome sequencing the evidence of a new strain of West Nile Virus (WNV) and its association with human cases in India.

The virus, transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes, can cause a fatal neurological disease in humans.

The state has decided to conduct a research to find out whether any genetic changes have occurred to the dengue virus found in the state.

State had demanded Rs.7,888 crore

The Union government has sanctioned a drought-relief package of Rs.107 crore to Kerala. The amount was sanctioned by the National Disaster Management Committee, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, to carry out long-term agricultural projects and to resolve drinking water shortage in some districts.

Alternative water supply schemes to be ready within a year

The State government has made an allocation of Rs.24.8 crore for conserving and protecting the Sasthamcotta freshwater lake. The declaration was made by Additional Chief Secretary V.J. Kurien in the presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at a meeting held at Sasthamcotta on Friday.

As many as 141 confirmed cases of dengue fever and five deaths suspected to be of dengue were reported in the State on Wednesday. One death due to suspected leptospirosis was reported from Kollam, taking the toll of fever-related casualties on Wednesday to six.

Unscientific disposal of sewage and pesticide residue from farmlands have contributed to organic pollution and chemical contamination of surface and groundwater resources in four river basins acros

Licensed granite miners have extracted more of the scarce natural resource than they should from the government sanctioned quarries in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts in Kerala, according t

High incidence of Hepatitis A in two grama panchayats

A study conducted by the district unit of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project into the reported high incidence of Hepatitis A infection in Thrikovilvattam and Mayyanad grama panchayats on the outskirts of Kollam city found that the disease spread from a common source-contaminated pipeline water supplied by the Kerala Water Authority. Ninety-two persons of Thrikovilvattam and 27 of Mayyanad were diagnosed with the disease last week.

Environmentalists have welcomed the intervention of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in protecting the Sasthamcotta freshwater lake in Kollam district.

Mr. Chandy will chair a high-level meeting in this regard on May 8. Terming it a step in the right direction, eco-activist V.K. Madhusudhanan, who had been taking up the cause for over a decade now, said conservation efforts should be supported by genuine, eco-friendly solutions. The lake was listed as a Ramsar site in 2002. Livelihood activities and biodiversity protection was also important. Serious concerns were raised only when the water level dropped alarmingly.

Syzygium travncoricum, a tree endemic to Kerala, is no longer ‘critically endangered’ as classified on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Field studies conducted by the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) in the wake of the IUCN classification suggest that the tree can now move to the ‘endangered’ list.

Known locally as kulavetti or vadhamkolli, the tree entered the IUCN’s ‘critically endangered’ list on the basis of a Conservation Assessment Management Plan (CAMP) workshop conducted under the Biodiversity Conservation Prioritisation Project India in 1998. The IUCN had then suggested periodic updating of the classification based on information provided by authoritative agencies.

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