Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

WHO says 3 Zika cases detected in India for 1st time

India's first Zika cases reported from Gujarat's Ahmedabad confirms WHO WHO confirms three Zika virus cases in Ahmedabad, first in the country
Steve Phelps | 29 May, 2017, 04:06

But it could turn out to be deceptively fatal.

The government has set up an an inter-ministerial task force under the chairmanship of secretary (Health and Family Welfare) together with secretary (Bio-Technology), and secretary (Department of Health Research), said the WHO report.

As per the WHO, In addition to National Institute of Virology, Pune, and NCDC in Delhi, 25 laboratories have been strengthened by Indian Council of Medical Research for laboratory diagnosis. This was the first Zika positive case reported in the country. The third case was detected in January this year and was of a 22-year-old pregnant woman who was infected with the virus during the 37th week of her pregnancy.

The disease is spread by the daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes and an infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects in newborns known as microcephaly-a condition in which babies' head is abnormally small. The virus is extremely hard to irradiate.

Though the Gujarat government maintains thousands of samples have been collected, the United Nations health agency said the cases were reported during random monitoring and surveillance at the BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad. Additionally, signage at all global airports and ports throughout the country have been updated to provide travelers with information on the Zika virus. So far the World Health Organization has issued no travel advisory against India. Mosquitoes have the ability to feed through clothes as well, therefore, what we need is clothing made out of synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and rayon, which is more tightly-woven and helps block mosquito bites.

The WHO added that here is a low level of transmission of the Zika virus in India, but it warned of further infections in the future and called on the Indian authorities to tighten procedures to detect similar symptoms similar caused by Zika. It warned the virus is likely to spread fast. The mosquito that carries Zika virus - Aedes aegypti - breeds in fresh water so don't let water collect in birdbaths, planters, non-used bottles, containers, discarded waste, tyres etc.

The Zika scare began in March 2015 in Brazil with reports of illness characterised by skin rashes coming in from the country's northeastern states.

In 2012, scientists figured out that there were two strains of the Zika virus, one of African and one of Asian lineage. The virus can also be sexually transmitted.

On May 24, the Gujarat government initiated its "free Gujarat from Malaria by 2022" campaign in Ahmedabad designating instances of dengue, chikungunya and malaria as notifiable instead of all fever cases.

There is no treatment or vaccine for the Zika infection. The Zika fever is treated with basic paracetamol and pain medication.

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