Zika cases in Rajasthan monitored

Cases of the Zika virus disease have been reported in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The outbreak was detected through the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) surveillance system, said a release issued by the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

P. Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, has set-up a seven-member high-level Central team, which was deputed to Jaipur immediately following the detection of the first case, to assist the State Government in control and containment measures. The situation is being monitored on a daily basis; the Minister is reviewing.

Zika virus is similar to dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. Carried by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos, Zika is largely transmitted through bites, but can also occur through intrauterine infection.

It was first identified in 1947 in Zika Forest, Uganda from where it derives its name.

If a woman is bitten by an infected mosquito and becomes infected, Zika can cross into the placenta and affect the fetus. While anyone can contract Zika, pregnant women are the most at risk due to the potential for fetal microcephaly and other neurologic abnormalities.

Symptoms include fever, headache, red eyes, skin rash, fatigue, muscle pain etc.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available to treat Zika. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

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