India detects three Zika cases in Gujarat state

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a lab at the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, in San Salvador, February 7, 2016. (AFP photo)
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a lab at the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, in San Salvador, February 7, 2016. (AFP photo)

India has reported its first three cases of Zika virus that occurred last year in the western state of Gujarat, making the country ​the latest nation to be affected by the mosquito-borne virus that sparked global concern.

Soumya Swaminathan, a top Indian Health Ministry official, told reporters on Sunday that the patients in Gujarat had recovered. “There is no need to panic.”

Swaminathan, who heads the Indian Council of Medical Research, said the three patients had been infected locally.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Friday that India’s Health Ministry reported the cases in mid-May. The WHO also said the cases, which included a pregnant woman, were picked up in routine laboratory screening in a hospital in Ahmadabad, Gujarat’s capital, over a period of more than a year.

Two cases were detected in February and November last year, while a third case was detected in January this year.

The UN health agency said the cases “suggest low transmission of Zika virus” in India.

The WHO has warned that more cases may come to light in the future. The organization called on authorities to strengthen the monitoring of Zika-like symptoms.

An Indian man looks on as a municipal worker fumigates a residential area during a cleanliness drive in Mumbai, India, February 25, 2016 (Photo by AFP)

Since Zika erupted on a large scale in mid-2015, more than 1.5 million people have been infected, mostly in Brazil and other countries in South America. Some 70 countries have been impacted.

Those infected with Zika typically suffer mild, flu-like symptoms. In some rare cases, women infected while pregnant can give birth to children with severe defects, including microcephaly, in which their heads are abnormally small.

There is no sure prevention or treatment for the disease and affected countries are reportedly doing their best to eliminate the breeding grounds for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which bite all day long.

In January 2016, the WHO voiced alarm over the Zika outbreak around the Americas, saying the virus is “spreading explosively.”

In November last year, the WHO lifted its own international health emergency status for Zika.

Brazil has been the country hardest hit by the outbreak.

On May 12, Brazil, the epicenter of the outbreak, declared an end to its public health emergency over the virus. The move followed a dramatic fall in number of victims, 18 months after a surge in cases caused a public health scare.

Efforts to eliminate the virus by killing carrier mosquitoes have resulted in the death of multitudes of honey-producing bees sprayed with insecticide.

Zika was first isolated from a monkey in Zika Forest, Uganda, in 1947.

One comment

  • uhm

    Zika virus is a scam as exposed on numerous occasions by myself and others. The cause of microcephaly is pesticide exposure and the DTaP ‘deadly combination’ vaccine. Parents need to be far more worried about vaccines (especially combination vaccines) and pesticides than any natural/Oxitec mosquitoes. Zika virus was originally used by the New Venice Empire (Talmudic Britain) as simply an economic warfare means against the nation of Brazil under the Rousseff Government prior to Prince Philip removing Rousseff with a color revolution. Who did the Brazilians get after Prince Philip was done? Michel ‘Prince of Darkness’ Temer who was always the real corrupt vermin in Brazil and now the people are finding out exactly what he’s all about as another color revolution is about to take place. The Zika virus was a possible avenue of cutting down support for the Olympics whilst Britain even prepared to try and re-host the event after hosting it the last time around. After the Olympics how often did you hear about the Zika virus? Exactly! All this was nothing more than an attack on the ‘B’ of the BRICS which is the good side fighting the British system dark age.

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