A 24-year-old pregnant woman in Kerala has been diagnosed with Zika virus, health minister Veena George said. There are 13 other suspected cases of the virus from Thiruvananthapuram, the minister told, adding the government was awaiting confirmation from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune. Of the 19 samples sent from Thiruvananthapuram, 13 health workers, including doctors, are suspected to be positive for Zika, the minister said.
The news comes as a jolt to the state that is struggling to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. According to the World Health Organisation, the Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that is usually borne by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquitoes, the same which transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
A study by the researchers from Georgetown University found that global warming could expose as many as a billion people to mosquito-borne diseases including dengue and Zika by 2080.
The disease is usually spread by mosquitoes, the transmission of bodily fluids, and sexual intercourse. The infection is usually mild in nature, but it can be transmitted easily and cause birth defects in pregnant women. Zika virus doesn’t have any known treatment neither do any of the diseases associated with the virus and in most cases, patients are advised to get plenty of rest, drink a lot of fluids and take common analgesics for pain and fever.
-with agency inputs