India: 80 Zika Cases Reported

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India has reported an outbreak of the Zika virus in the western state of Rajasthan. 80 confirmed cases have been reported since last month including 22 pregnant women, officials said Wednesday.

Aedes aegypti is the mosquito which carries zika virus. This mosquito is widely prevalent in India. The first zika virus case in India was reported in January 2017 in the state of Gujarat.

Zika virus proves havoc to the pregnant women. If a pregnant woman gets this virus, it can develop brain defects in the baby though the chances are very rare. So far, at least 4 pregnant women have delivered their babies. All babies are healthy, said Govind Parikh, spokesperson for Rajasthan Health Department.

In the capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur, 330 special teams have been on a mission to eradicate Zika from the area. They are spraying and fumigating houses. They have also taken 440,000 people under surveillance.

People who are infected of the virus have been kept separate in hospitals or in their homes. The officials are monitoring their health closely.

The state’s health department has divided the infected areas into eight zones. In each zone doctors, district officials, social welfare workers, and health officers are working to deal with the outbreak.

Indian Health Minister J P Nadda in a statement said that only awareness can help to control the vector-borne diseases. The state is also running some awareness activities in the area to educate people about the virus and how to prevent from it.

This is India’s third outbreak of Zika since 2017 but is by far the biggest. The first outbreak was in January 2017 in Ahmedabad and the second outbreak was in July 2017 in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Zika erupted on a large scale in 2015 affecting more than 1.5 million people in more than 70 countries. Most of these cases were reported from South America.

The World Health Organisation has said currently no vaccine is available for this virus. They hope that a vaccine can be available after 2020.