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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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.

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 …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…