How did the Zika Virus go unnoticed in Gujarat for months?

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It’s appalling to read about cases going unnoticed for months especially in a country like India. From what I’ve read and heard Gujarat is one of those states that is ahead of most states in the country yet we read about instances that make us question it all.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), three cases of the Zika virus had been reported in January this year but information regarding the same was only publicized five months after the event, that too by WHO.

For those who do not have the faintest idea about it, the Zika virus is transmitted via the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits dengue and chikungunya. The virus isn’t a joke; many people suffer from the virus and may succumb to it. The symptoms usually go unnoticed as they are mild and therefore many patients do not know they are affected. The virus has been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, which occurs in babies and causes them to be born with small heads. Some symptoms may include rashes, headache, fever, muscle pain, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.
Till date, no vaccination or medication to tame or cure the virus, so it is important for pregnant women, especially in villages to get them tested.

To ease tension regarding the subject, the Public Health experts claim the situation is under control for the moment. However, they too seem displeased with the government’s decision to keep the matter under wraps. From a state like Gujarat, you expect to get clarity especially about an issue like this. However, Gujarat and the Government aren’t solely to blame. National Institute of Virology, Pune, should have made an effort to publicize this information because they confirmed the virus on fourth January, 2017.

WHO recommends all citizens to go for a checkup if any of the above symptoms are noticed. Pregnant women especially need to go for regular checkups because it can affect both mother and child. Do not take your symptoms lightly, it is always better to be on the safe side and keep away from mosquitoes. Set up mosquito nets where possible and avoid keeping stale water or uncovered water at home.

Jyoti is a travel enthusiast who loves writing on different topics and loves exploring new realms. She is currently working with Freshticles as a blogger.
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