PRO/SOAS> Zika virus – India: (Maharashtra)


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 14 Sep 2023
Source: Mid-Day [edited]

Maharashtra reported 3 more confirmed cases of the Zika virus. Of the
3 cases, 2 were reported from Kolhapur’s Ichalkaranji within 1st 10
days of September [2023], while one case was reported from Pune’s
Vadgaon area in the last week of August [2023].

Confirming the cases, Dr Pratapsinh Sarinkar, joint director of health
services, Maharashtra, stated that the state government has started
disease surveillance and contact tracing in the areas where the
confirmed cases reside.

Both the cases from Kolhapur’s Ichalkaranji are reported in the
above-50-year-old age group.

Dr Sarinkar added, “The cases in Ichalkaranji do not have any travel
history. Both are sporadic cases (a single case that can’t be linked
to another case).”

Zika virus disease is a mild illness caused by the Zika virus. The
disease is transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes. Symptoms of
Zika virus disease include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle
and joint pain, malaise, and headache.

The Zika virus disease is self-limiting. Around 80% of people who are
infected with Zika virus are asymptomatic. The Aedes mosquito that
spreads the Zika virus also transmits dengue and chikungunya. It
usually lasts for 2 to 7 days. Most of these symptoms are similar to
viral illness and infection, therefore Zika virus cannot be identified
just from the symptoms itself and needs to be diagnosed through a
blood test.

Speaking about the Zika virus, Dr Anita Mathew, director, Internal
Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said, “Zika virus is a
mosquito-borne infection that spreads through a mosquito bite. So it’s
important to take all the necessary preventive measures to avoid a
mosquito bite. This will not only prevent us from getting the Zika
virus, but will also help us stay away from malaria, dengue, or
Japanese encephalitis.”

Adding more information, Dr Jitendra Choudhary, consultant, Intensive
Care & Critical Care, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, said, “Zika virus
infection can have serious consequences for pregnant women and their
babies. It can cause microcephaly, a condition where the baby’s head
is smaller than normal, and other neurological problems. Zika virus
infection can also trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder
that affects the nerves and muscles.”

“There is no specific vaccine or treatment for Zika virus infection.
The best way to prevent it is to avoid mosquito bites by using insect
repellents, wearing long-sleeved clothes, and removing stagnant water
where mosquitoes can breed,” he added.

Earlier, Mumbai reported 2 Zika virus-positive cases. On [23 Aug
2023], Mumbai reported its 1st Zika virus case after a 79-year-old
Chembur resident was infected by the virus. The Zika virus case was
confirmed by the National Viral Institute (NIV), Pune.

Another Zika virus case in Mumbai was reported on [2 Sep 2023]; 2nd
case was confirmed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)
after a 15-year-old female from Kurla was reported to have tested

[Byline: Anagha Sawant]

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