INDIA. Mumbai: After Kerala, Maharashtra became the second state in India to report the first case of Zika virus with a 50-year-old woman patient from Belsar village in Purandar tehsil of Pune district, found infected with the Zika virus.
The patient developed fever earlier this month, following which her samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. On Friday, NIV confirmed that she had contracted the Zika virus, making her the first such case in Maharashtra. She was also infected with chikungunya. Now she has recovered completely. No one in her family has shown any symptoms of the disease.
“The woman had symptoms from July 15 and her sample tested positive for Zika virus and chikungunya infection on July 30,” Maharashtra’s Surveillance Officer Dr. Pradeep Awate said. A team from NIV visited the region from July 27 to July 29 and collected 41 samples from Belsar and Parinche villages. Of these, 25 tested positive for chikungunya, while three tested positive for dengue virus, “Dr. Awate added.
The health department said it has asked concerned officials to take utmost precautions and the department will be conducting surveys for Zika virus and other insect-borne diseases. The Belsar village has a population of about 3500. Now a serosurvey will be conducted to detect whether more people are infected, District Health Officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar said.
Until now, Kerala was the only Indian state to report Zika virus cases.Kerala is battling a continuing second wave of Covid-19 infections with the test positivity rate remaining over 10% for the past few days. India’s first case of coronavirus infection was also reported from the state in January 2020.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito named Aedes aegypti. The Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon or evening. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
The Zika virus infection is not a serious issue. But it can be very dangerous among pregnant women, especially for foetus.. The infection can cause microcephaly (a brain disability condition) or other conditions called congenital Zika syndrome. The virus easily transmits from a pregnant woman to her foetus. It can also spread through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
Zika virus was first isolated from monkeys living in the Zika jungle of Uganda in 1947. It was only formally described as a distinct virus in 1952. In 2016 and 2017, the western state of Gujarat reported cases of the Zika virus from the city of Ahmedabad.