Zika virus spreads to many cities including Hyderabad: Study

In newborns, Zika virus can lead to microcephaly and other birth defects whereas, in adults, it can rarely cause Guillain–Barre syndrome

Hyderabad: Zika virus has spread to various Indian cities including Hyderabad. It was disclosed by a study conducted by ICMR and NIV, Pune.

The study which is published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology stressed the urgent need to strengthen surveillance to control the further spread of the virus.

As a part of the study, 1520 samples were tested and out of them, 67 were found positive for Zika virus. One of the samples that tested positive was from Osmania Medical College.

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Apart from Hyderabad, the Zika virus was also found in samples from cities of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Delhi.

What is Zika virus?

Zika virus is spread by the day-active Aedes mosquito. The symptoms of the infection are not severe. It will be similar to a very mild form of dengue fever.

Although the virus is usually not harmful to adults, it can lead to birth defects as it can spread from a pregnant woman to her baby.

In newborns, it can lead to microcephaly (A condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected) and other birth defects whereas, in adults, it can rarely cause Guillain–Barre syndrome (A disorder in which the immune system of the body attacks the nerves).

Is person-to-person transmission of Zika virus possible?

Zika virus is usually spread by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito. However, the virus can be transmitted from men and women to their sexual partners.

Apart from it, the virus can spread through blood transfusion.

As of now, there is no vaccine for the virus. All the vaccines are currently in the development phase.

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