Experts say if a concerted effort is not made to address India’s mosquito problem, these viruses are here to stay.
Experts say if a concerted effort is not made to address India’s mosquito problem, these viruses are here to stay.(Photo: AP)
  • 1. Zika in the South?
  • 2. India’s Challenge
  • 3. Is India Really Equipped to Deal With Zika?
  • 4. Don’t Panic and Protect Yourself
Zika in Rajasthan: US Issues Health Alert to Pregnant Women

With nearly 280 cases reported of Zika from 3 states, from an outbreak that began in Rajasthan, the United States has now issued a warning to pregnant women advising them to avoid visiting the state.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, issued a level 2 health alert to pregnant women. Pregnant women can pass on the virus to the foetus. Cases of serious congenital defects including microcephaly have been reported in babies born to pregnant women who got the Zika virus. Babies born with microcephaly have smaller head sizes, a brain deformity that develops in the womb. There is no treatment for it.

Pregnant women who got the Zika virus in India are being monitored by state health agencies. Experts say if a concerted effort is not made to address India’s mosquito problem, these viruses are here to stay.

  • 1. Zika in the South?

    Experts say if a concerted effort is not made to address India’s mosquito problem, these viruses are here to stay.
    The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti
    (Photo: AP)

    As per a recent research published in the journal Neurology India, scientists have found strains of the Zika virus in other parts of the country as well. The scientists at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry were analysing 90 patients and found the Zika antibodies present in 14 of them. 4 patients have also tested positive for the dengue antibodies.

    These patients were suffering from Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS) which is a rare disease in which the body’s immune system begins to attack the nerves.

    The scientists stated that there was a possibility that these patients got infected from the Zika virus which further contributed to the GBS disorder.

    As per a report in the Live Mint, one of the authors of the study, Deepak Amalnath, said:

    Zika Virus may be present in several areas of the country, but currently we have diagnosed only some cases from Gujarat and Rajasthan. During our research, we found antibodies for Zika virus in GBS patients. The virus may be circulating along with the dengue virus also, however, we did not look for circulation of dengue and Zika.

    This was a chance encounter. But, what is causing Zika to spread across India, when it has been contained elsewhere in the world?

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