Amidst Coronavirus pandemic, Zika Threat looms of Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram: While the country is still under the COVID crisis, the Zika virus has resurfaced. Kerala is reported to have identified over 14 cases of the Zika virus.
According to a recent report by Indian Express, Kerala state on Thursday reported 14 cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus for the first time. All samples tested positive for the Zika virus were collected from the Thiruvananthapuram district and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. The samples were collected for testing after a 24-year-old pregnant woman sought treatment late last month with symptoms like fever, headache, and red marks on the skin.
State Health Minister Veena George told PTI that the government was awaiting confirmation from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune. Of the 19 samples sent from Thiruvananthapuram, 13 health workers, including doctors, are suspected to be positive for Zika, the minister said.
The woman, hailing from Parassalain Thiruvananthapuram district, who is undergoing treatment at a private hospital here, delivered her baby on July 7. She had been admitted to the hospital on June 28 with fever, headache and red marks on her body. The tests conducted at the hospital confirmed that she was positive following which her samples were sent to NIV, Pune. The condition of the woman was satisfactory. Though she does not have any travel history outside the state, her house is on the Tamil Nadu border. A week ago, her mother had also shown similar symptoms, a government release added.
A day after a case of Zika virus was reported in Kerala for the first time, 14 more cases have tumbled out, all in the Thiruvananthapuram district. All the patients are under treatment and stable, reports The Indian Express.
As per World Health Organisation, Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day.
Symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Symptoms typically last for 2–7 days. Most people with Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome. Infection with Zika virus is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage.
An increased risk of neurologic complications is associated with Zika virus infection in adults and children, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for the Zika virus and the development of the Zika vaccine remains an active area of research. The UN health agency advises people with symptoms to get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and "treat pain and fever with common medicines." Zika virus infection can only be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites. Special attention should be given to prevent mosquito bites among pregnant women, women of reproductive age, and young children, says WHO.