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Zika Virus Disease

Zika Virus Disease

Why in news?

  • Recently, Zika Virus Disease (ZVD) was reported for the first time in Kerala.

About Zika Virus

  • The Zika virus is predominantly transmitted by infected mosquitoes from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti.
  • The Aedes mosquitoes also spread dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. They usually bite during the daytime, mostly during the early morning or later afternoon.
  • Apart from the mosquitoes, an infected person can also spread the virus.
  • This virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to the fetus, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
  • The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Symptoms of Zika Virus

  • Most people infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms.
  • The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3-14 days.
  • The symptoms are similar to those of flu, including fever, body ache, headache, etc. Additional symptoms can include the occasional rash-like in dengue, while some patients also have conjunctivitis.

Transmission

  • Through mosquito bites: Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus).
  • From mother to child: A pregnant woman can pass the Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.
  • Sexual Transmission: Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her partners. Zika can be passed through sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time.

Treatment

  • The vaccine for the virus are still under trial until it is safe for use, the focus is on relieving symptoms and includes rest, rehydration and acetaminophen for fever and pain.

Zika Virus Vaccine

  • The Zika infection vaccine is intended to protect humans from the symptoms and effects of Zika virus infection.
  • Because Zika virus infection in pregnant women can cause a congenital syndrome in newborns, the vaccination will try to protect against congenital syndrome during this or any future outbreaks.                            Zika Virus Disease
  • No vaccinations have been licenced for clinical usage as of April 2019, but a number of vaccines are currently being tested in clinical studies.
  • An infection vaccine’s purpose is to create specific antibodies against the infection in order to avoid infection and serious disease.
  • Limiting adverse effects like Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can occur as a result of infection, is one of the obstacles in designing a safe and effective vaccine.
  • Furthermore, because dengue virus and infection are closely related, the vaccination must reduce the risk of dengue virus infection being enhanced by antibodiesPrevious Outbreaks in India
    • First outbreak of Zika Virus was reported in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in January/February 2017 and second outbreak in July 2017 from Krishnagiri District in Tamilnadu.
    • Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management.
    • Government has now confirmed new cases of Zika in Jaipur.

    Related Government Programme/Initiatives

    • Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme: To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based and IT enabled disease surveillance systems for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends.
    • National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme: The central nodal agency for prevention and control of six vector borne diseases i.e. Malaria, Dengue, Lymphatic Filariasis, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis and Chikungunya in India.                          Zika Virus Disease
    • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK): An initiative under the National Health Mission, has a surveillance for Microcephaly (system for monitoring birth defects).

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Mussoorie Times

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