The Zika virus, the latest viral scaring disease, its paw in India. First time three Zika virus infected cases, including two pregnant women who delivered healthy babies, were detected in Ahmedabad. India has been free of this virus for over 60 years, and that traces of Zika were last seen in 1952-53.
India has strengthened its surveillance system in the past few years to detect and contain new infections. Only three Zika cases have been detected in around 50,000 tested so far, a senior Health Ministry official said.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae. It is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Its name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.
Aedes aegypti is a small, dark, hot-weather mosquito with white markings and banded legs. Scientists believe the species originated in Africa but came to the Americas on slave ships. It’s continued to spread through shipping and airplanes. Now it’s found through much of the world, including the southern United States. Early in the 20th century, scientists showed it was the engine behind devastating yellow fever outbreaks. Since then, it’s also been identified as a carrier for other tropical illnesses such as dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika fever. Scientists are investigating whether other types of mosquitoes are spreading Zika in Latin America and the Caribbean, too.