At least ten cases of Zika virus infections have been reported from Kerala. Of the 13 samples sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, 1o came back positive, sources told News18.
“We have doubts about 13 positives in the 19 samples sent to NIV,” Kerala Health Minister Veena George told News18.
According to Matrubhumi, all the cases are from Thiruvananthapuram.
According to WHO, the 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. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
Even though a majority of people infected with Zika virus do not develop symptoms, some of them exhibit medical conditions like fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These usually last for 2–7 days.
The virus is highly transmissible through mosquito bites, mainly the Aedes aegypti type that also transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
Although it does not cause serious health issues, if found in pregnant women, it may cause birth defects like microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities.