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Kerala, India, warns the entire state after a case of Zika virus is detected


Authorities in the state of Kerala in southern India issued a warning throughout the state after 14 cases of Zika virus were detected.

The state is currently fighting a surge in COVID-19 cases, with more than 13,000 cases recorded on Friday, the highest number in the Indian state.

Among the Zika fever patients was a 24-year-old pregnant woman who was being treated at a hospital in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram.

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable and can infect newborns with mosquito-borne diseases, resulting in life-threatening conditions such as the rare autoimmune disease Guillain-Barré syndrome. ..

The woman was positive on Thursday, the day after giving birth, and 13 more cases were confirmed on Friday, said state health minister Veena George.

“They are all health care workers and are currently receiving medical care, but they are stable,” she said.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika fever is mainly transmitted by Aedes aegypti, but it can also be a sexually transmitted disease.

The virus was first discovered in monkeys in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947 and has caused several outbreaks worldwide in recent decades.

There are no vaccines or antivirals available for prevention or treatment.

Symptoms include fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, and muscle and joint pain, but death is rare.

A man in protective clothing sprays a tombstone with a fumigator
The outbreak of the Zika virus in the Americas in 2015 and 2016 raised concerns around the world.(((

AFP: Ernesto Benavides


Indian officials said the infected pregnant woman had symptoms such as fever, headache, and rash before being admitted to the hospital where she gave birth safely on Wednesday.

The minister said the newborn was tested negative for the virus.

Health officials were assigned to the area to monitor further cases while the infection control team was spraying chemicals to stop the breeding of mosquitoes.

Zika fever also occurred in India in 2017 and 2018, with hundreds of cases reported in western Gujarat, Rajasthan and central Madhya Pradesh, but the latest in Kerala.


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