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Already struggling with Covid-19, now Kerala on high alert after several cases of Zika Virus confirmed in the state

The authorities have collected all the samples from Thiruvananthapuram that tested positive for the Zika virus and has been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.

Kerala, which has been struggling to manage the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, is now facing another major health crisis in the form of the Zika virus.

According to the reports, the first case of the Zika virus was reported from Kerala on Thursday. However, on Friday, Kerala reported 13 more cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus in Thiruvananthapuram, causing a worry to authorities in the state.

The Kerala government said they had sent 19 samples to the institute, out of which 13 were found to be positive for Zika.

The authorities have collected all the samples from Thiruvananthapuram that tested positive for the Zika virus and has been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. The samples of a 24-year-old pregnant woman who sought treatment late last month with symptoms like fever, headache, and red marks on the skin, have also been sent to NIV in Pune.

Meanwhile, authorities have issued a statewide alert after several cases of the Zika virus was confirmed in Kerala.

The Southern state is already struggling with Covid-19, as the state is now reporting the highest number of new cases per day. The state is reporting 10,000 to 15,000 cases daily for the last 2-3 weeks, and now has 1.1 lakh active cases, just 4000 less than Maharashtra. Both these states now contribute almost half of the new cases in the country.

What is Zika Virus?

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. In 1952, the Zika Virus Disease (ZVD) was identified in humans in Western Africa.

ZVD is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes (AM), mainly Aedes aegypti, the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

In addition, the Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.

The symptoms of ZVD include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. However, most people with Zika virus infection do not develop any symptoms.

One of the lethal aspects of Zika virus infection is that it can cause infants to be born with microcephaly (smaller than normal head size) and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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