Kerala Reports First Zika Virus Case; Samples to be Evaluated

Story Highlights
  • Zika Virus detected in a 24-year-old pregnant lady
  • National Institute of Virology (NIV) to study 13 Zika Positive samples collected from the state
  • Zika is reported to cause neurological complications and birth defects in a pregnant lady

India: Kerala, which has been reporting a surge in its coronavirus cases has confirmed the detection of its first Zika virus case on July 8.

 “This is the first time that Zika virus has been reported in Kerala… a 24-year-old pregnant woman reported at a hospital in the state capital district with fever, headache and rashes last month. The first results showed a mildly positive sign of Zika virus and later from 19 samples tested, 13 also showed Zika positive. All the samples have now been sent to NIV Pune, state Health Minister Veena George said on Thursday.

The pregnant lady hailing from Thiruvananthapuram delivered on June 7 and has been admitted to KIMS hospital for treatment of Zika Virus.

 The concerned officials and experts visited the place and initiated preventive measures.  All districts have been informed about the detection of the Virus and have been directed to follow stringent measures.   

Kerala is reported to have a high population of Aedes species of mosquitoes spread across.  Aedes mosquitoes, which are also carriers of dengue, breed in stagnant freshwater and rest mostly indoors. 

Zika virus was first isolated in 1947 in Uganda Zika Forest. The virus often causes no or only mild symptoms, similar to a very mild form of dengue fever. However, it is reported that Zika is associated with neurological complications. In pregnant women, the infection can seriously harm the developing fetus and lead to congenital anomalies.  Birth defects and development of Guillain-Barre syndrome, where one’s immune system attacks the nerves are most commonly observed.

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