India sees rising cases of THIS deadly virus; know the symptoms, causes, treatment & key facts

Mosquito-borne viruses Zika Virus are developing in a faster pace, and lead to devastating congenital neurological defects.

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The Zika virus was discovered to be present in a Rhesus macaque in Uganda in 1947. Human infections in Africa had been reported by the 1950s. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, there were isolated human cases in Asia and Africa. Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, and Africa have all reported outbreaks since 2007.

Recent Zika-related outbreaks have seen an increase in the prevalence of Guillain-Barré syndrome. During an epidemic in Brazil in 2015, the virus was linked to microcephaly. France Polynesia also showed similar results. Because Zika was causing congenital malformations, the WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern from February to November 2016. The Americas and regions where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are present have seen outbreaks. Cases have been discovered in relation to travelers and sexual transmission.

Although there have been fewer cases since 2017, endemic regions and the Americas still experience low-level transmission. In 2019, there were reports of local cases in Europe, and in 2021, there were outbreaks in India. 89 countries have reported cases of Zika, but there is still little worldwide surveillance. 

Rise of Virus in India-

With the central government issuing an advisory on Wednesday, July 3, Pune, Maharashtra, has seen a notable increase in Zika virus cases. Consequently, the number of cases has increased to seven after a 55-year-old woman in Pune was found to have received an injection of the Zika virus. As of now, eight cases have been reported in the city; six of them are from Pune and one each from Kolhapur and Sangamner.

States have been urged by the Center to step up their surveillance, especially when it comes to testing expectant mothers for the Zika virus and monitoring the development of the fetus in those who test positive. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme and NCVBDC should be notified of any cases that are discovered. 


The majority of Zika virus infections do not cause any symptoms. If so, the symptoms usually appear 3-14 days after the infection, are mild (rash fever, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, headache), and last for 2-7 days on average. Since these signs are similar to those of other viral and non-viral illnesses, laboratory testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of Zika virus infection.

  1. Mild fever
  2. Body rashes
  3. Redness in the eyes
  4. Muscle and joint pain
  5. Headache


Pregnancy-related Zika virus infection is the cause of congenital malformations in infants, such as hearing loss, limb contractures, high muscle tone, and abnormalities in the eyes. Congenital Zika syndrome is the term used to describe all of these clinical characteristics.

Pregnant women who contract the Zika virus are thought to have a 5–15 percent chance of having infants with congenital malformations; the exact number of these babies is unknown (3). After both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections, congenital malformations develop. Zika infection during pregnancy can also result in preterm delivery, stillbirth, and fetal loss, among other complications.

Particularly in adults and older children, Zika virus infection can also result in neuropathy, myelitis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The study on the risk and consequences of Zika virus infection on pregnancy outcomes, prevention and control methods, and infection impact on other neurological disorders in children and adults is still ongoing.


In tropical and subtropical regions, the Aedes (Stegomyia) genus of mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti, is the primary vector of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission. Aedes mosquitoes typically bite during the day. In addition, dengue, chikungunya, and urban yellow fever are spread by these mosquitoes.

In addition, during pregnancy, sexual contact, blood transfusions, and potentially organ transplantation can all spread the Zika virus from mother to fetus.


The symptoms of people who live in or visit areas where the Zika virus is spreading and/or where Aedes mosquito vectors are present may indicate a possible Zika virus infection. Only laboratory testing on blood or other bodily fluids can confirm an infection with the Zika virus, and even then, the diagnosis must be made and separated from other related flaviviruses that cross-react, like the dengue virus, to which the patient may have been exposed or has already received vaccinations.


There is no specific treatment available for Zika virus infection or disease.

People who experience fever, rash, or joint pain should stay well hydrated, get plenty of rest, and take antipyretics and/or analgesics as needed. The bleeding risk associated with dengue virus infections should be taken into consideration before taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy. Patients should get help and advice from a doctor if their symptoms worsen.

In order to receive laboratory testing, information, counseling, and other clinical care, pregnant women who live in areas where the Zika virus is spreading or who exhibit symptoms of infection should consult a doctor.


As of right now, there is no vaccine to treat or prevent Zika virus infection. Research on creating a Zika vaccine is still ongoing.

Mosquito bites

A crucial step in preventing Zika virus infection is protecting against mosquito bites during the day and early evening, especially for pregnant women, women who are trying to conceive, and small children.

Wearing clothing that covers as much of the body as possible preferably in light colors using physical barriers like closed doors and windows and applying insect repellent to skin or clothing that contains DEET IR3535 or icaridin in accordance with product label instructions are some examples of personal protection measures.

In cases of daytime or early evening sleep, pregnant women and small children ought to sleep beneath mosquito nets. The same fundamental safety measures that were previously mentioned should be followed by both visitors and residents of impacted areas in order to prevent mosquito bites.

Small pools of water near homes, schools, and workplaces serve as breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes. Eliminating these mosquito breeding locations is crucial, and this involves clearing out old tires and trash covering water storage containers and removing standing water from flowerpots. To support public health and local government efforts to reduce mosquito breeding sites, community initiatives are crucial. To stop the spread of disease and minimize mosquito populations, health authorities may also suggest using insecticides and larvicides. 

Prevention of sexual transmission

All individuals infected with the Zika virus and their sexual partners (especially expectant mothers) should be informed about the risks of sexually spreading the virus in areas where the virus is still actively spreading.

The World Health Organization advises sexually active individuals to receive counseling and be provided with access to a comprehensive array of contraceptive methods so they can make an informed decision about when and if to become pregnant, potentially averting unfavorable pregnancy and fetal consequences.

Emergency contraceptive services and counseling should be easily accessible to women who have engaged in unprotected sexual activity and do not want to become pregnant because of worries about contracting the Zika virus. It is recommended that women who are expecting should either refrain from sexual activity for the duration of their pregnancy or engage in safer sexual practices, such as using condoms correctly and consistently.

WHO suggested-

The World Health Organization advises men and women returning from areas where the Zika virus is actively spreading to engage in safer sexual practices or abstain from sexual activity for a period of two months for women and three months for men in order to avoid infecting their partners. Partners who are expecting a child should either avoid sexual activity altogether during pregnancy or practice safer sex when they are in or are returning from areas where the Zika virus is locally transmitted.