Zika virus: 188 samples test positive in 13 states; silent spread in Telangana

Samples were collected from private and government hospital’s microbiology department from May to October 2021 in all the 13 states of the country.

By KANIZA GARARI  Published on  5 July 2022 5:50 AM GMT
Zika virus: 188 samples test positive in 13 states; silent spread in Telangana

Zika virus was found in 188 samples of the 1475 patients in 13 states, according to June 2022 study published in the Journal of Frontiers in Microbiology

A total of 1520 samples were collected for the study.

There was only Zika virus found in 67 patient samples. Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses were found in 121 samples that were studied by the researchers. Blood, serum, urine, and plasma samples were collected for testing.

Samples were collected from private and government hospital's microbiology department from May to October 2021 in all the 13 states of the country.

The samples were collected from hospitals and nursing homes in Delhi, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha, Telangana, Assam, Jharkhand, and Bihar.

The study aimed to check the presence of different viruses in the human body. The samples were collected and stored in Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories.

These samples underwent two types of tests Igm ELISA test for dengue and chikungunya and Real-Time RT-PCR test for dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus.

Zika in 67 patient samples in 13 states

Of the 67 patients, the analysis showed that 86.56 percent of them were mild and 13 percent underwent hospitalization.

The main symptoms in these patients were fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, and pain in the joints. One pregnant woman whose sample had Zika virus delivered an infant whose head was much smaller than the normal size, medically called microcephaly.

Silent spread of Zika in Telangana, Delhi, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Punjab

Data from different hospitals collated by various state government agencies have shown sporadic cases of Zika virus in Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. According to this study, there is a 'silent' spread of the Zika virus in Telangana, Delhi, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Punjab.

In these states, local transmission is indicated which means that the virus is now in the atmosphere along with other viruses of influenza and SARS-Cov 1 and 2. The presence of a virus in the atmosphere means that it can infect when there are suitable conditions, survive, and also propagate.

Zika virus requires caution for pregnant women

The screening of pregnant women is important and the adoption of RT-PCR tests for enhanced Zika viruses must be carried out.

It has been noted that an ELISA test, Zika virus is missed.

Surveillance needs to be increased:

RT-PCR testing laboratories must be re-purposed for testing the Zika virus in the country suggests the researchers.

Effective vector control measures in the monsoon season are also required as co-infections in pregnant women can be challenging to treat.

Link of the study: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2022.888195/full

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