Experts stress on vigilance, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Experts stress on vigilance, Health News, ET HealthWorld


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Mumbai: Confirmed cases of Zika virus are being reported in Maharashtra, and there have been several outbreaks since it was first identified in India in 2016. The mosquito-borne Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 and has caused outbreaks in various regions, including Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Zika virus infection has been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome and microcephaly. The current surge in cases in Maharashtra prompted the Union Health Ministry to issue an advisory to remain vigilant. ETHealthworld consulted some experts for insights on the outbreak and containment measures.

Dr Honey Savla, internal medicine at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, called the alarming rise in mosquito numbers in Pune a cause of concern, due to the dense population and favourable monsoon conditions for mosquito breeding. Dr Anita Mathew, director of internal medicine and infectious disease specialist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, stressed on mosquito bite prevention to avoid Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. Symptoms include fever, rashes, muscle and joint pains, headache and conjunctivitis, which lasts for two to seven days. A blood test is required for diagnosis.

Dr Harish MM, director, intensive care physician and infectious disease specialist, Institute of Critical Care Medicine, Kauvery Hospital Marathahalli, emphasised the importance of vector control, public education and timely medical intervention. Pregnant women should be extra careful and undergo regular antenatal care. Dr Mathew highlighted the absence of specific vaccines or treatments for Zika, advocating preventive measures such as insect repellent, long-sleeved clothing and eliminating stagnant water.

Dr Savla called for intensive surveillance, vector control and public education to prevent the spread of the virus. A coordinated effort of health officials, communities and experts is required to effectively tackle this public health challenge. Better surveillance, public awareness and healthcare preparedness are important to tackle the outbreak.

  • Published: July 3, 2024, 05:57 PM IST

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