Skip to main content

Zika, the mystery fever, now grips India (downtoearth)

The deadly Zika virus has made its presence felt in India. The World Health Organization issued an advisory on May 26 confirming that three cases have been reported from the country. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat, on May 15.

These patients had reported the symptoms last year. The blood sample from a 64-year-old male was collected between February 10-16, 2016 and he is being considered the first Zika positive case in the country.

The sample from the second case, a 34-year-old female, was collected during the delivery of her child on November 9, 2016. Fortunately, the baby did not show symptoms of microcephaly.

The third case was identified at an antenatal clinic between January 6-12, 2017. This time, the patient was a 22-year-old woman in her 37th week of pregnancy. The fate of this child has not been revealed.

Down To Earth had investigated the reason for unexplained fever cases in India and had enquired from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune whether these cases could be due to Zika virus. The NIV had replied in negative.

The recent reports of Zika cases is of concern as cases of dengue are already being reported in India. Both dengue and Zika virus are transmitted by the same mosquito, the Aedes aegypti.

As of now, the National Guidelines and Action Plan on Zika virus disease have been shared with the States. An Inter-Ministerial Task Force has been set up under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) together with Secretary (Bio-Technology), and Secretary (Department of Health Research). Even the airports have been put on an alert. However, WHO has not recommend any travel or trade restriction to India based on this information.


Popular posts from this blog

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.