Kerala, which has been reporting a surge in coronavirus cases, has officially confirmed its first case of Zika virus – a mosquito-borne viral infection.
Samples of 13 persons, suspected to be positive for Zika virus, have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.
The symptoms of Zika virus include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.
The virus is spread through the Aedes species of mosquitoes, which is found in high density across the state. Aedes mosquitoes, which are also carriers of dengue, breed in stagnant freshwater and rest mostly indoors.
Zika virus has often been linked to birth defects and development of Guillain-Barre syndrome, where one’s immune system attacks the nerves. Some people infected by it might not show any signs or symptoms. However, in pregnant women the infection can seriously harm the developing foetus and lead to congenital anomalies.
Currently, there are no vaccines or cure for Zika virus. The virus was first isolated in 1947 in Uganda’s zika forest.
With inputs from NDTV