Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Zika Virus Detected in Mosquitoes Near Bengaluru, Prompts Alert

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A Zika virus case has been identified in a mosquito within the Chikkaballapur district near Bengaluru. The discovery was made during an examination conducted in August. As a precautionary measure, health authorities have initiated the analysis of all fever cases and have issued an alert in the vicinity of Talkaebetta, where the infected sample was found.

Dr. S. Mahesh, the District Health Officer, reported that a comprehensive total of 100 samples were gathered from various locations within the state. Among these, six samples originated from Chikkaballapur, with five of them yielding negative results, while one sample was confirmed to be positive, as per an NDTV report. The infected mosquito was among the specimens collected as part of a comprehensive statewide initiative. The findings from these samples were unveiled on October 25.

It’s worth noting that last year, a five-year-old girl in Karnataka was diagnosed with the Zika virus. In December 2022, a 67-year-old man in the Bavdhan area of Pune was also confirmed to be infected with the Zika virus. Prior to that, a seven-year-old girl in Maharashtra’s Palghar district had contracted the virus through mosquito bites.

Zika virus disease (ZVD) has emerged as a significant public health concern since the 2016 outbreak in Brazil. This disease is caused by a virus primarily transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is known to bite during the daytime.

Common symptoms of Zika virus disease, as identified by the World Health Organization (WHO), include rashes, fever, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headaches. These symptoms typically persist for a period of 2 to 7 days.

Since its initial discovery in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947, numerous outbreaks of ZVD have been documented in various regions, including Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. More recently, a few cases were reported in Indian states like Kerala, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.

Zika virus disease is typically mild in nature and does not necessitate specific treatment. Those affected are advised to get ample rest, stay well-hydrated, and manage pain and fever with paracetamol. In case of worsening symptoms, seeking medical attention and guidance is recommended. As of now, there is no vaccine available for Zika virus disease.

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