New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the concerns and efforts to contain the further waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, a new worry has emerged in front of the health authorities dealing with one of the worst health crises ever happened in the country. Amid the worries, Kerala on Thursday reported 13 cases of a mosquito-borne disease called Zika virus for the first time.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that all samples collected from the Thiruvananthapuram district tested positive for the Zika virus and all the samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for final confirmation. The samples were collected for testing after a 24-year-old pregnant woman sought treatment late last month with symptoms like fever, headache, and red marks on the skin, Veena George added.

"The disease was reported in a 24-year-old pregnant woman from Parassala who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. On June 28, the woman was admitted to the hospital with fever, headache, and red spots. Her samples showed that she contracted Zika virus, for confirming the samples have been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune," said Veena George as quoted by ANI.

Zika virus spreads mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, which bites during the day. Aedes mosquitoes are the same that transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations. Meanwhile, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals infected with the Zika virus can also transmit the disease to their intercourse partners.

Symptoms of Zika virus infection

As per the World Health Organisation, the incubation period of the Zika virus is around 3 to 14 days and the symptoms typically last for 2–7 days. Following are the symptoms:

Mil fever

Rashes

Conjunctivitis

Muscle and Joint pain

Headache

Prevention and Treatment:

Till now, no vaccine or specific treatment has been found out by the health authorities to treat the Zika virus. The WHO, meanwhile, has advised people with symptoms of Zika virus to get plenty of rest, drink as many fluids as they can and treat fever and body ache with common medicines.

However, the disease can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites, said the WHO adding that special attention should be given to pregnant women, young children and women of reproductive age to prevent them from mosquito bites.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan