India Reports First Zika Cases

Zika fight by Public Health England and CARPHA

First in India: WHO confirms 3 Zika virus cases in Gujarat

Union Ministry didn't confirm the cases and remained silent. However, the Health Ministry of India has urged the residents not to panic as the contamination has been contained, and bother women delivered healthy babies.

According to the statement given by World Health Organization on its website, "These findings suggest low level transmission of Zika virus and new cases may occur in the future", the World Health Organization said in the statement on its website. The cases have been detected at BJ Medical College (BJMC), Ahmedabad. The sample was re-confirmed as Zika Virus positive by RT-PCR and sequencing at NIV, Pune, as per the reports. The first case was detected during a routine Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) surveillance at BJMC.

The three cases that have been detected include a 64-year-old man.

Although, only three cases have been reported so far, Indian conditions are favourable for the outbreak of the disease. The virus can cause severe birth defects in babies whose mothers are infected during pregnancy, so pregnant women and those trying to conceive should take extra precautions.

The 22-year-old in her 37th week of pregnancy was found positive during the screening of blood samples between January 6 and 12. "None of the 1.2 crore blood smear samples collected from the state and 44 lakh samples collected from Ahmedabad have tested positive", said Gupta.

In its most recent outbreak, Zika, which is mainly a mosquito-borne disease, was identified in Brazil in 2015 and has been spreading globally.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that the potentially deadly Zika virus has penetrated India, and has already infected three people in Ahmedabad.

"WHO had declared that Zika was no longer an worldwide public health emergency in November 2016". The cases were reported from Bapunagar area of Gujarat.

Since the Aedes mosquito that transmits the virus is active in the mornings, Zika has a higher potential to spread.

Some experts speculate that the Zika virus circulating in southern and southeastern Asia may be a strain that is hard to transmit. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has laid out an algorithm for RT-PCR (a method for detection of Zika virus ) testing based on clinical history. India has just reported three cases of the Zika virus for the first time. Singh also said the patients belonged to separate neighbourhoods and were not all from Bapunagar, as reported by WHO.

The agency has not recommended travel to India be restricted.

The WHO has further advised that the prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people.

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