Home/ News / India/  Efforts now to develop Zika virus vaccine in India: NTAGI chief Dr NK Arora

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chief, Dr NK Arora on Tuesday said that India should be "ready to fight" the Zika virus in case of an "outbreak."

His statement came after a 5-year-old girl from Karnataka tested positive for the virus.

As per Dr Arora, "Zika virus is something which is something like a priority virus for which both preventive measures have to be taken. There are efforts now to develop a Zika vaccine in this country and we are hopeful we will be among the first few countries where the vaccine will be available."

"We should be ready in any case of an outbreak or difficulty because if pregnant women get infected, the foetus can be affected also," NTAGI Chief added.

Earlier yesterday, a five-year-old girl from Karnataka was confirmed to be infected with the Zika virus on Monday (Dec 12), news agency PTI reported. 

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, said, "This is the first case in the state and the government is monitoring the situation very carefully. Our department is well prepared to handle it.

Also Read: Zika virus: How to prevent, expert suggests these steps

Prior to that, A 67-year-old man was found infected with the Zika virus in the Bavdhan area of Pune in early December. The man, who was a resident of Nashik had come to Pune on November 6. On November 16, he came to Jahangir Hospital with fever, cough, joint pain and fatigue and was diagnosed with Zika in a private laboratory on November 18, the health department had earlier informed.

An entomological survey of the Zika virus across Pune city is being done to mitigate future outbreaks.

Zika virus (ZIKV) disease (ZVD) is considered to be one of the significant public health diseases of concern post-2016 outbreak in Brazil.

Caused by a virus transmitted primarily by the Aedes mosquito, which bites during the day, symptoms of this disease include mild fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, or a headache.

A mosquito-borne flavivirus had been reported to be associated with the increased incidence of microcephaly, congenital Zika syndrome, and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

According to WHO, rashes, fever, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headaches are common symptoms of the disease. The symptoms usually last for 2-7 days

Since its discovery in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947, several outbreaks of ZVD have been reported from Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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Updated: 14 Dec 2022, 06:31 AM IST
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