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Zika Virus Cases on the Rise in India: Precautions and Awareness

Zika Virus
Zika Virus

India is witnessing an increase in Zika virus cases, particularly in Pune, Maharashtra. As this mosquito-borne disease gains attention, it’s crucial to understand its causes, symptoms, and preventive measures. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Zika Virus?

  • Transmission: Zika virus primarily spreads through mosquito bites, specifically by Aedes species mosquitoes.
  • Sexual Transmission: It can also be transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusion from infected individuals.
  • Risk Factors: Unprotected sex and travel to areas with Zika outbreaks increase the risk.

Symptoms and Complications:

  • Common Symptoms:
    • Rashesconjunctivitis (red eyes)feverjoint painmuscle painheadache, and pain behind the eyes.
  • Pregnancy Risks:
    • Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects and other complications in the unborn child.

Preventive Measures:

  1. Mosquito Bite Prevention:
    • Use EPA-registered insect repellent.
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
    • Control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors (e.g., use window screens).
  2. Sexual Transmission Precautions:
    • Condoms reduce the risk of sexual transmission.
    • Abstinence or condom use is advised for a specific duration after travel or exposure.
  3. Pregnant Women Vigilance:
    • Screen pregnant women for Zika.
    • Monitor foetal development in positive cases.

Public Health Advisory:

  • Recent Cases: Pune has reported eight cases so far.
  • Government Advisory: The central government has issued an advisory to states to increase vigilance.
  • Reporting: Detected cases should be reported to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme and NCVBDC.

Remember, early detection and precautionary measures are essential. If you experience symptoms or have potential exposure, seek medical advice promptly.

Written by Zamir Azad

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