Zika which means “trouble” is actually causing immense trouble in the world and has been a cause for worry. Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector which transmits dengue and chikungunya, and very much related to dengue virus. It causes illness which can be a mild form of dengue fever and the worst part is, it is yet cannot be prevented by drugs or vaccines.
In today’s world, because every point on every corner of this world is connected with each other and it’s just a matter of few hours with a flight, an outbreak of this mosquito-borne infection can’t be considered as out of scene.
Earlier, the zika virus was considered as not threatening when it was first identified in Uganda in the year 1947, as the fever caused due to the virus was a mild one with muscle or joint pain in approximately one in every five people infected. But according to a research conducted in Brazil, it is suspected that zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, which is a condition in which a baby is born with abnormally small heads and even brain damage. It has been found that in microcephaly, the virus can jump from mother to baby inside the womb. This has caused panic as the disease has spread to 23 countries within a year.
The threat to Indian new born babies is real, as there is no vaccine, drugs or reliable diagnostics available to avoid this infection or to cure it. According to India Today, India has not come with a single case of this virus from the last 60 years as the traces of zika virus were last seen during 1952-53.
Considering the rising fear, Karnataka health minister UT Khader has met the representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to discuss the preventive measures which need to be taken and screening protocols to be followed at the airports to prevent the entry of this virus. Union Ministry of Health has asked pregnant women to avoid travelling to affected countries. All Indian international airports will screen passengers from the affected countries for the symptoms of this deadly virus.
The Indian government is writing to the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get more information about the disease and the virus in order to prepare accordingly.
According to the World Health Organization, America could see up to 4 million cases of zika virus in the year 2016. With more than 10 lakh yearly visitors from the United States, the outbreak chances of the zika virus in India are very high.
You need to be careful with these symptoms and consult a doctor immediately if it matches with yours:
- Joint and muscle pain
What to do if found positive?
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
- Get plenty of rest
- Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to avoid the risk of bleeding.
- You can take medicines such as acetaminophen to get rid of fever and pain.
Though there has not been a single confirmed case of zika virus in India yet, but the rate at which it is spreading across Brazil and the U.S, India has every reason to prepare for the unexpected.