Chikkaballapur, Bengaluru: The Zika virus was discovered in a mosquito sample collected from Chikkaballapur district near Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka state. Following the identification of the virus in a sample mosquito from the area, all the fever cases reported there are now being analyzed.
In his report on the case, Dr. S. Mahesh, the District Health Officer, said that nearly one hundred samples were collected from all over Karnataka as a part of a statewide campaign in August. This was done in preparation for climate change, which is expected to increase vector-borne diseases. In particular, six samples were from Chikkaballapur, of which five tested negative and one tested positive. The results of the sample analysis were released on October 25th. Following the identification, the health officials in the direct vicinity, a 5-kilometer radius around Talakayalabetta, were instantly alerted. Three patients who presented with symptoms of fever were identified, and their samples were collected and sent for analysis. The DHO said that those three patients were fine and stable. Further, samples were collected from 30 pregnant ladies and seven more people with fever and sent for analysis to Bengaluru.
Zika virus, initially identified in the African country of Uganda, is a vector-borne infection transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, the same culprit that spreads dengue and chikungunya. The infection has an incubation period of up to 2 weeks, and when the symptoms develop, they last for up to 2 days to a week. WHO has given a list of symptoms associated with Zika virus disease, namely: fever, rash, fatigue, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and headache. Pregnant women are at higher risk due to the disease's potential for developmental defects, microcephaly in the fetus, stillbirth, and miscarriage. This infection can also lead to a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre’s syndrome, characterized by muscle weakness and paralysis.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for this disease, and affected individuals are advised to take adequate rest, keep hydrated, and take NSAIDs and analgesics for pain and fever.
Last December, a five-year-old girl in Raichur, Karnataka, was affected by the Zika virus, and in August of this year, a 79-year-old man from Mumbai was also affected by the same virus.
(Input from various media sources.)