Zika virus threat looms over India: 13 Indian in Singapore tested positive

Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, revealed to Reuters that 13 Indian citizens in Singapore had been tested positive for the Zika virus on 1 September. Construction site workers in Singapore have been the most affected by the virus. The government there had announced the entry of the mosquito-borne disease on 27 August and by the 29th, 82 people were already affected.

US health officials have also revealed that if pregnant women are affected by the virus, it will result in the babies being born with microcephaly. This is a birth condition that may lead to developmental problems like unusually small head or limbs.

On Thursday, Chinese and Malaysian governments confirmed about the disease in their official statements. Chinese officials confirmed that 21 citizens were affected by the disease but, the health condition of the patients were not serious, and a few had already recovered. The Malaysian statement confirmed that the first cases of the pathogen were discovered in Southeast Asia and can be tracked back to a woman who traveled to Singapore on the 19th of August.

As far as mosquito-borne diseases in India are concerned, the country is already struggling to fend off threats from the recently annual Dengue and Chikungunya. With thirteen Indians affected, it is extremely lucky that they have been discovered. However, the threat is not over yet. It is very easy for a single infected host to get lost in a population of 1.3 billion and cause an epidemic. The monsoon season every season sees the country deal with mosquito-borne diseases. Zika is the latest entry in the list. In public interest, the government has regularly been releasing statements requesting people not to let trash accumulate and stay at a place for long, especially stewing in rain water. It is fairly easy to ignore such things and repent later.

Since its recent resurgence in Brazil, last year, the disease has spread to several South American countries. This is the first case found in Asia. Some other countries like Bangladesh and Philippines have also reported such cases.

Mainly transmitted through mosquitoes called Aedes, Zika is also an STD. Its symptoms include skin rashes, mild fever, muscle pain, conjunctivitis, joint pain, and headaches.

Statements from WHO suggest that some Pharmaceutical companies are working on a cure but, currently there is no treatment vaccine for the disease. Statements from WHO suggest that some Pharmaceutical companies are working on a cure abut, currently there is no treatment vaccine for the disease.