‘ZIKA’, is the deadly Mosquito-borne virus which is sweeping through the South America for quite some time is now about hit Goa says the report. The symptom of this virus starts with the headaches and joint pains. But the most crucial fact about this virus is if it hits the pregnant woman it can lead to huge problems for their children, leading to birth defects such as microcephaly or abnormally small heads.
According to the report published by Andrew Griffin in ‘The Independent’, This virus reportedly have already infected thousands of people in Colombia and Brazil and if it continues to spread at this speed the numbers could reach to hundreds of thousands. Shockingly in Brazil, this virus has reportedly infected more than 4000 babies that are born with Microcephaly since October 2014.
According to the report published by Nandakumar Kamat in ‘The Navhind Times’, The ZIKA virus would lead to affecting the human fertility and birth rate. The ZIKA was first discovered in Uganda in the year 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was then subsequently found in the humans in the year 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania. It has also been recorded in America, Africa, and Asia Pacific.
Since this virus affects the babies brains of babies in the womb itself it is highly dangerous for the human race. “Nobody would like to give birth to babies with defective brains (The condition called Microcephaly),” says Nandakumar Kamat. “On July 20, 2015, in this column I had written about KFD (caused by KFDV) and dengue (caused by DENV) outbreaks in Goa. The government is silent on DENV serotype in Goa. More than 40 thousand dengue cases were reported in India in 2014 and more than 100 in Goa in 2015. The latest viral threat to Goa and particularly pregnant women is the dreaded mosquito-borne Zika virus, a Flavivirus currently raging in South and Central America. It may reach Goa within a few weeks mostly due to international tourism and presence of Aedes Egypty (Diptera: Culicidae) the vector mosquito. Possible routes of entry in Goa by air, sea or land are via Spain, Portugal, Nigeria and USA,” says Kamat.
According to Mr. Kamat, the state of Goa is already fighting with the monkey fever, KFD (Kyasnur Forest Disease) which started spreading from Karnataka and now reached Maharashtra via Sattari in Goa. “India published in Indian Journal of Medical Research. They had warned that steps have to be taken to monitor and control breeding ground because A Egypty is responsible for dengue (Flaviridae: Flavivirus) viruses (DEN); yellow fever (YF: Flavivirus) and the chikungunya (CHIK:Togaviridae: Alphavirus). Zika virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito which is also known to carry yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya viruses. An infected mother can pass on the virus to her newborn child through blood transfusion and in other cases also through sexual contact,” Mentioned Mr. Kamat in his report.
The ZIKA virus is named after the Zika forest in Uganda where it was identified first in rhesus monkeys during the yellow fever outbreak in 1947. The virus had probably evolved in primates in Africa and began to infect the humans. “Virologists suspect that the Virus has mutated making it able to infect mosquitoes more easily, or multiply to higher levels in humans. The majority of infected people don’t show any symptoms,” says the report.
The Independent has reported that, Since the ZIKA affects the unborn babies causing the Microcephaly, the government of Colombia has warned women that they should delay becoming pregnant for six to eight months until the disease is under control, although till date no newborn babies in Colombia have shown any symptoms of ZIKA, though out of 13500 infected people there are around 500 are pregnant woman. The US Center for Disease Control has warned women to not travel to 14 countries including Colombia and South America out of fear that they may be stuck with the virus.
According to Nandakumar Kamat, It is just a matter of time before the ZIKA knocks on the doors of Goa. The best way to protect yourself at the moment is to get rid of the mosquitoes from your surroundings. “I have already alerted the state government to the threat posed by Zika virus. Prevention and control rely on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people. This can be done by using insect repellent; wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible; using physical barriers such as screens, closed doors and windows; and sleeping under mosquito nets. It is also important to empty, clean or cover containers that can hold water such as buckets, flower pots or tyres so that places, where mosquitoes can breed, are removed. Special attention and help should be given to those who may not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as young children, the sick or elderly,” says Mr. Kamat.
Source: Various Sources.
Disclaimer: The original articles appeared in The Independent written by Andrew Griffin and in The Navhind Times written by Nandakumar Kamat. This final article is the outcome of the combination of material from both the articles.