World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed the first cases of Zika Virus in Ahmedabad due to which the UT health department is set on high alert. The department has been screening all hotels and hospitals for such cases.
Last year, there were only two dengue cases from the city, while it is 10 this year. According to the survey these cases were found old with previous history of dengue or chikungunya. PGI, had tested 59 cases which were positive for chikungunya from Chandigarh. All these were having the previous history of chikungunya. The risk is more as the virus is caused by the same vector that causes chikungunya and dengue and already the city has seen a rise in chikungunya cases as compared to last year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed Zika can spread through sex, usually after a person traveled to an area where Zika has broken out, got the virus, and gave the virus to a sex partner who did not travel. Infected women and men can both pass the virus to sex partners – even if they havent shown symptoms of infection, the CDC says. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass the virus on to their fetus.
In 1947, the Zika virus was first identified in Uganda. The virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes the same type of mosquito that carries chikungunya virus, dengue fever and yellow fever. A mosquito bites an infected person and then passes those viruses to other people it bites.
How to Protect yourself from Zika Virus?
No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus, and there’s no effective antiviral treatment.
– If you are travelling in the affected areas, avoid mosquito bites by using a repellent throughout the day and wear long sleeved shirts and long pants, indoors and out. The mosquitoes that spread Zika are aggressive daytime biters often found indoors.
– The CDC recommends using Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellents with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (para-menthane-diol) or 2-undecanone.
– Strictly prevent the mosquito breeding around homes. Use screens on windows and doors and get rid of standing water like in buckets and planters as mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
– Travellers who complain of fever within two weeks of return from an affected country should report to the nearest health facility.
– Persons with conditions like diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory illness, immunity disorders, etc. should seek advice from their doctors before traveling to an affected country.