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Zika Virus Disease

  • 09 Jul 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, Zika Virus Disease (ZVD) was reported for the first time in Kerala.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Transmission:
    • ZVD is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes (AM), mainly Aedes aegypti.
      • This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
    • Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
  • Symptoms:
    • Symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Most people with Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms.
    • Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly (smaller than normal head size) and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome.
  • Treatment:
    • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Instead, the focus is on relieving symptoms and includes rest, rehydration and acetaminophen for fever and pain.
  • Related Government Programme/Initiatives:
    • Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme: To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based and IT enabled disease surveillance systems for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends.
    • National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme: The central nodal agency for prevention and control of six vector borne diseases i.e. Malaria, Dengue, Lymphatic Filariasis, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis and Chikungunya in India.
    • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK): An initiative under the National Health Mission, has a surveillance for Microcephaly (system for monitoring birth defects).

Dengue

  • Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes.
  • Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle, and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles.
  • The dengue vaccine CYD-TDV or Dengvaxia has been approved in about 20 countries.

Chikungunya

  • Chikungunya is caused by a mosquito-borne virus.
  • It is transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
  • Its symptoms are characterized by abrupt fever and severe joint pain, often in hands and feet, and may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.
  • There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for chikungunya.
  • There is no commercial chikungunya vaccine.

Yellow Fever

  • It is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.
  • Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
  • Yellow fever vaccine which is known as 17D and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) also it is safe and affordable. However, there are reports of multisystem organ failure following vaccination.

Source: IE

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