The World Health Organisation(WHO) has warned that Zika virus can also affect countries like India. The fast-spreading Zika virus is carried from person to person by mosquitoes has been linked to birth defects and deaths in newborns in Brazil. The virus has already reached 21 countries in Central and South America, the World Health Organisation has warned.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, JP Nadda, held a meeting with senior officials from the health ministry and All India’s Institute of Medical Sciences to be ready to deal with the situation.
The ministry has asked all the sates to control Aedes mosquito, which is responsible for spreading the deadly dengue, as well as the Zika virus.
Nadda said that there should be more focus on prevention to control of the Ades mosquito that breeds in clean water. He said there is the need of generating more awareness among the people.
Health experts suggest said that the mosquitoes and their breeding sites are vulnerable factor for the spread of Zika virus infection.
The virus is believed to cause neurological problems like microcephaly, a condition that results in abnormally small heads in babies.
The health ministry has also decided to form a technical group to monitor the situation arising out of this virus and to strengthen its surveillance. This virus can infect up to four million people, the WHO has warned as it issued a warning to all countries, including India. Here are some steps for its prevention:
Clean or cover containers that can hold water such as buckets or tyres.
Clean up the places where mosquitoes can breed.
Remove and modify the breeding sites and reduce the contact between mosquitoes and people.
Wear long dresses with long sleeves and thick clothing to resist bites.
Keep mosquito nets and screens on windows and doors.
Summers will be the real challenge for the country, as it is the time when there are more chances of Dengue outbreak and breeding of mosquitoes.
The Zika outbreak began in Brazil last year and such is the level of alarm that many Latin American countries like El Salvador, Colombia and Ecuador have urged women to postpone pregnancy till 2018. Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. The deadly virus was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
More than 20,000 people, including at least 2,116 pregnant women, have been infected with the Zika virus in the South American country of Colombia.