Zika Virus in India? Yes Zika Virus affecting millions of people worldwide is now confirmed its presence in India. Recently as per Advisory issued by World Health Organization (WHO) on May 26th, 2017, it is now confirmed that three cases have been reported in Bapunagar Area of Ahmedabad District, Gujarat.
This three patients who reported the Zika Virus Symptoms last year, one of them who is 64 year old male is considered as first Zika Positive case in India. His blood sample was collected between 10th -16th February of 2016. Another case was of 34 year old female with pregnancy on November 9th , 2016. Although the baby delivered did not show any symptoms of microcephaly. The 3rd case was identified at antenatal clinic between January 6th – 12th of 2017. This patient being 22 year old female in her 37th week of pregnancy. The head of Indian Council of Medical Research has said all three people infected with Zika virus in Ahmedabad have now recovered. Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has further stated that the three patients had no overseas travel and so the infection could have been acquired locally. “There is no need to panic. All three cases recovered,” she said.
Government of India has already shared National Guidelines and Action Plan to combat the outbreak of Zika Virus in India with all State machineries. An inter-ministerial task force has also been set up under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) in consultation with Secretary (Bio-Technology) and secretary (Department of Health Research). All Airports have been put on an alert.
As a part of survelliance, more than 50,000 people with identical symptoms have been tested to detect Zika Virus in India.
Apart from National Institute of Virology (NIV),National Centre for Disease Control and the National Vector Borne Disease Control (NCDC) Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) in Delhi, 25 more laboratories have also been strengthened by Indian Council of Medical Research for laboratory diagnosis, while three entomological laboratories are conducting Zika virus testing on mosquito samples.
“The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has tested 34,233 human samples and 12,647 mosquito samples for the presence of Zika virus. Among those, close to 500 mosquitoes samples were collected from Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad district, in Gujarat, and were found negative for Zika.
Nearly 13 Indians were tested positive for Zika Virus in Singapore last September.
The mosquito-borne disease was first identified in Brazil in 2015 and has spread to more than 60 countries, with Caribbean countries being the worst hit. A large number of cases have been reported from South and Central America.
While there is no reported specific treatment for zika virus, Preventive measure like usage of mosquito nets, mosquito repellents & proper fumigation may be considered for controlling outbreak of Zika Virus in India. However, India need to be vigilant for this outbreak because the same mosquito carries viruses of chickungunia and dengue which has claimed hundreds of lives and thousands infected.