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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 44-55

ZIKA : Global Epidemiology, is it a threat to India?

1 Post Graduate
2 Associate Professor
3 Professor

Correspondence Address:
Vasantha Kamath
Professor of Medicine, MVJ MC & RH

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Zika virus is an emerging arthropod borne virus transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti and Aedesalbopictus mosquitoes. The virus belongs to the genus Flavivirus. Zika virus was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in the Zika Forest of Uganda, in 1947. In 2007, the first documented outbreak of Zika virus disease occurred in the Pacific. Since 2013, cases and outbreaks of the disease have been reported, as of now from 70 countries and territories. Between the late 2015 and early 2016, Zika is established as a neurotropic virus. Its neurological sequelae (GBS) and its teratogenic potential (microcephaly) is demonstrated. Since 2016, 11 countries from Asia have reported Zika. A recent study by Musso and Gubler concluded that the co-circulation of ZIKV with DENV and CHIKV might occur in countries where DENV and CHIKV are endemic. As of May 2017, the Health Ministry of India has reported only 4 laboratory-confirmed cases in India so far. WHO now classifies India as a category 2 country for Zika transmission. India's burgeoning population renders it vulnerable to this threat. The lack of access to laboratory services, under-reporting or misdiagnosis can mask this disease especially in areas with endemicity of dengue or chikangunya. This otherwise non-fatal disease can increase India's maternal mortality burden significantly and increased childhood morbidity if it goes unchecked. These findings make it imperative to escalate the measures adopted to spread awareness and prevent the spread of this disease.

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