The dreaded Zika virus, which was earlier prevalent in Africa and certain parts of Europe, has been detected in India.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has verified three cases of Zika virus from Ahmedabad, which includes a pregnant woman who tested positive in January this year. These cases were analysed in the government laboratories, first in January 2016, then in November 2016 and the last one in January 2017.
Zika virus, evolved from the Zika Forest in Uganda, gets transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. This contagious virus can travel from human to human via mosquito bites.
A statement issued by WHO stated, "The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat, State, India."
First reports of virus arriving in India had surfaced in January this year. Let's have a have look at the disease, its cause and how can it be prevented.
Zika is caused by the bite of a species of mosquito called Aedes. If a pregnant woman gets infected, the newborn also contracts it. Although Zika virus is not rampant in India, three cases which surfaced in Ahmedabad are a matter of concern. Researchers are working to find out if there are any other ways through which the virus is passed on to other humans.
Its symptoms include fever, rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis. As the virus spreads in the body, infected person complains of muscle pain and headaches. These symptoms may last for several days or weeks, severe cases may require hospitalisation.
Researchers are working to find a vaccine for this virus. According to the team of researchers, an effective and safe Zika virus vaccine will take three to 10 years to develop.
The agencies that are working on the vaccines have advised that aspirins should be avoided by the person diagnosed with Zika virus.