Zika Virus Outbreak in India

Vishnuaravi

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What is this article all about?

This article talks about the outbreak of the Zika virus and an opportunity to improve health care in India. This article will cover the emergence of the Zika virus and its spread. We’ll also read about the basics of the Zika virus. The outbreak of the Zika virus in India and what needs to be done for India in order to control this and improve India’s health care.

The emergence of the Zika virus and its spread

The spread of the Zika virus has created a concern for India and its susceptible population, which is already struggling with the COVID 19 crisis.

Zika virus was first detected in a rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947, and that is the reason why it is known as the Zika virus. The first-ever outbreak of this virus was reported in 2007 (i.e) for about 60 years, there were no major outbreaks associated with this virus. However, it was the large outbreak that took place in French Polynesia in 2013 and Brazil in 2015, which made Zika be a matter of concern. The important concern about this virus is that it causes the Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Under this syndrome, there is a tingling and weakness starting in the feet and the leg of a person. Apart from this, it also may lead to the paralysis of a person.

Basic Information about Zika Virus

Transmission

  • Zika virus is transmitted primarily by the Aedes mosquito that bites during the day. So Aedes mosquito will bite person A, the carrier of this virus. Then the same mosquito will bite person B and this is the way how this virus will be transmitted. It is the same as that we see during the cases of dengue, where the mosquito is responsible for the transfer of the virus.
  • If a pregnant lady gets infected by this virus, the born or newborn baby will have microcephaly (a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected).
  • It may also cause preterm birth or even miscarriages and that is the reason why pregnant ladies are considered to be the most vulnerable section of society as far as this disease is concerned.
  • It also leads to Guillain-Barre syndrome, as we have discussed, neuropathy and myelitis. Apart from the mosquito itself, this virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products and organ transplantation. 

So these are the four major mediums through which this virus could be transmitted.

Symptoms

The symptom of this virus included fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache. 

Diagnosis

It could only be confirmed by the laboratory test. There is no homemade remedy available for the diagnosis, and this diagnosis is based on human fluids, such as urine or semen. 

Treatment

There is no treatment available for the Zika virus as of now, so far, there is no licensed vaccine available, and there is no specific treatment in any part of the world. However, those people who are infected with this virus are advised to take rest, eat well and drink plenty of fluids because drinking fluids help during the fever of a person.

The Zika outbreak in India

The first outbreak took place in 2017, where 3 human cases were observed in the city of Ahmedabad and 1 case in Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu. Again in 2018, there were two outbreaks in the state of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Here there is a quantum jump just from the 3 cases to 130 and 159. Recently, in 2021, it was a state of Kerala, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, where the majority of the Zika cases were found.

So Zika virus is not new to India. It has already been there for a while now, and it has been observing a rising number of cases. However, it is not the case that every year Zika virus will be there in India. Zika virus was not there in 2019, 2020 or before 2017.

What needs to be done for India?

Now, based on the importance of this virus and the kind of outbreak and causality it may cause, we need to take the following initiatives.

  • The first one is the preventive steps and the awareness among the people regarding this virus as we have done in the case of COVID 19.
  • We need to identify the new mutations based on the history of a person, and this history means the medical history.
  • We need a systematic and enhanced surveillance system, especially in the Zika virus prone states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
  • We also need to identify areas of high incidences that too in the intrastate region (i.e) the district wise classification.
  • Lastly, we have to provide coordination among the state authorities and state authorities here means the Panchayati raj institutions, urban local bodies, developmental authorities, medical staff and hospitals and many others.
  • We are also required to take help from the central government in order to bring better expertise, capacity building and funds.

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Hi, I am Vishnu, and I have been a blogger for more than 2 years now; and I will provide some knowledgeable current international news to my readers.

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