A mosquito bone viral infection was traced first, detecting the blood samples of a 24 year old, pregnant woman in tiruvananthapuram. Let us now tell you: zika virus is something which is a disease which is spread through mosquito bites. Its symptoms are similar to that of chikungunya. Although infected people requiring hospitalization and their death is rather uncommon, the virus is worrisome as it causes several defects, including damage to the nervous system and also the immune system of any human being. To speak more on the issue, i am now being joined by my colleague, rickson woman from tiruana deputy good afternoon, rickson hi sudha good afternoon. This is very worrisome. You know we are right in the middle of a pandemic like kovade, and you know that kerala has somehow been unable to contain it as brilliantly as it did during the first wave. Now there are 15 cases. What are you hearing on the ground? There seems to be a state of almost medical emergency in kerala isn’t that right, rexella yeah. Absolutely you know, it’s really a matter of concern for a state like kerala, as you pointed out that you know uh during the second wave. Kerala is struggling hard to bring down the covet cases at this point of time. You know, for the first time in the state of kerala sika virus is also reporting uh. Yesterday, you know uh 13 cases were reported from tiruvantwara municipality and today morning two more fresh cases reported.
So a total of 15 zika virus infection were reported from the state of kerala. So all these uh, you know, infections, all these cases from trivandura municipal team. You know the state health minister has declared a high alert in the state of kerala and she called an urgent meeting of district medical officers today morning via online uh. You we spoke to the district medical officer in tiruvandavaram, so what they are saying is that the situation is under control and the government to call the precautionary measures with related to this. But you know it’s, like you pointed out it’s, like you know, chicken guriam, which hit the state in 2016, so similar symptoms are showing for the zika virus too, but it’s uh it’s a matter of concern for pregnant women. Actually uh it is. It is more affecting the pregnant woman, so it is from you know, a mosquito bite, especially from edis type of mosquitoes, so the government have took all the precautionary measures regarding this anyway uh, you know, uh the government have given high alert on this uh. We spoke to the district administration too. What they’re saying is that every monsoon before the monsoon every year, the state government will conduct cleaning activities across the state, but this time uh due to corporate 19 pandemic, there were some failure, happened by the district administration and also by several municipalities with related to this That’S, why now outbreak happened here so that’s the kind of reaction that we are getting uh from the district official sudha? Okay? Rickson.
Thank you so much for bringing us up to speed on how the state of kerala is now dealing with the zika virus and to speak more on the issue and rather about how to tide over this so called medical emergency. I am now being joined by dr rajeev jayadevan, whose scientific advisor to the ima hello rajiv. How are you today yeah? So how are you i’m good? Thank you for asking rajiv, but you know this is very worrisome and like i was telling rickson you are bang in the middle of a pandemic like kovet and you know i’m, not a portioning blame at all, but kerala has done whatever it’s there in its where, With all to contain it, but you know the results, i mean it’s, a new thing, i mean it keeps mutating and now the zika virus. I mean 15 cases from thiruvanandapuram. So first thing i want to ask you, like rickson, was saying that every year before the onset of monsoon, you know there is a cleaning up process which takes place and this time somehow that was missed. Do you think that straightaway caused this virus to kind of build? I don’t think so, because uh kerala is a place where there’s plenty of rain. In fact, all of today morning it was raining and the rain comes down pretty much almost half the times a year and uh. Clearly, when water accumulates anywhere, it can be on a tiny, dried leaf on the ground that water accumulates and this mosquito.
There is a dis mosquito aedes, the eid is mosquito it can. It can rapidly multiply it and uh so it’s quite it’s quite easy for this mosquito to to multiply and spread diseases now, because these cases were found, it just means that the surveillance is very good. They, the doctors, are alert about various uh mosquito related diseases of the rainy season. Predominantly that being said, the aedes mosquito can spread disease even during summer because it can multiply wherever there’s fresh water, fresh water in the sense it need need not be clean water it by fresh water. It means something that’s, not salt, water, brackish water. So, basically, in any drain, any any any place, a piece of tire that water is floating. You can have this mosquito and – and i live in kitchen, where there are plenty of mosquitoes here around so um. How they found out was the there is a set pattern of of of detection of these cases and when the typical offenders, the common offenders like dengue and chikungunya, and all these were ruled out uh, it clearly was uh raising a red flag for the zika virus. Now zika virus, you know, has been detected in various parts of of the world, including india, and it is. It is not a commonly diagnosed condition, mainly because you know to confirm it. It’S not easy to confirm this diagnosis, so it had to be confirmed through the niv, and so here we are.
It is not a dangerous disease, it doesn’t kill people, but it does cause malformations, which is a worrisome factor for pregnant women yeah. But you know uh rajiv, why i’m saying that it could become varisam aldo to who, as you well know, you know, declared it in 2016 as a medical emergency. Look right now, all of us, even if we get what is called a throat infection accompanied by fever, which could perhaps be cured in a day with an antibiotic and maybe gargling. One is paranoid. Now let’s look at the zika virus, how it manifests itself. Please correct me: if i’m wrong, whatever i’ve been reading, there could be mild fever. There could be a mild headache. There could be skin rashes in some cases. So in a in a situation like this don’t, you think i mean it’s not fatal, but you know ah it’s an added burden on on on anybody who has witnessed the first wave and the second wave so tell me something that is there any way that a Common man, a lay person, can can figure that listen. I don’t have to be so paranoid. Let me just go get tested for zika, i mean what does one do? How does one detect? How does one discriminate that’s a good question? What what the common man or the everyday public can do in their life, so the first thing is not to panic. This is not a disease like nipah, which actually rapidly spreads and kills people whoever comes into contact so that’s.
What and the zika virus is just one of those mosquito spread viruses just like dengue and chicken, munir and others. Now, when there are plenty of zika viruses in your neighborhood, then you have a greater chance of picking up the infection from a mosquito bite. But if your area is relatively free from zika, then your chance of picking up zika from mosquito bite is actually quite small. The same have the same uh with dinghy, but unfortunately during rainy season. Many of these diseases tend to go up because simply because they spread more, they spread more by the mosquitoes. Now we are aware that there’s a small pocket in the random area, because but they but again, as i said, these cases will be happening all around the world it’s just that when their surveillance is good, you get pic. You pick them up right, but that being said, uh zika has been extensively investigated and studied the papers published from india and really it’s been underwhelming compared to what damage it has done in other other countries, including brazil, where plenty of babies were born with small heads And and severe neurological disorders which are incurable, so india really has not seen the neurological devastation but i’m, not downplaying it. But the point is there’s, no need to panic. A large number of cases are without symptoms, so people may may have it because i get when i go out in my garden. I get i get bitten by mosquitoes every day and that’s, a that is that’s that’s part of the norm of living in this part of the world.
So what the public can do is just to keep the mosquitoes that they uh keep the fight on and you’ve got to keep fighting, because, if you just, if you give up, then the mosquitoes will just take over, they are just at best. That really deserve to be eradicated. They really serve no purpose apparent purpose in the ecosystem, most other insects. They do they don’t. They will play some goal, but apart from rajiv i want before i let you go this threat to a pregnant woman. Now you said in brazil there were cases of babies born with small heads now in kerala, apparently 24 year, old, pregnant woman. You know, of course, she’s safe right now and it is being reported that she lives on the border of yet another neighboring state and so on, and so forth, particular and special vigil for those who are carrying babies at this point is that the most important thing One’S got to concentrate on when we speak about the zika virus. Absolutely pregnancy is a condition that i’ve written extensively about in the past. It is not to be taken lightly and in fact my article says the dark side of pregnancy and there are several threats that a pregnant woman sees which are not acknowledged by the world. In fact, for in india, for instance, a pregnant woman is signing an unseen warrant that says i’m willing to die one out of thousand times and how many people know that these women they deserve respect for taking that risk on in terms of bringing a baby out.
So back to this question of the zika is that’s it’s. Just one additional threat, just like over 19, is on a pregnant woman and they from the zika standpoint. They ought to stay away from any possibility of being beaten by mosquitoes at this point, particularly in areas that are endemic, which means that if the disease is there in your neighborhood, you better stay away from it. So maybe wear full sleeves. I don’t know you know. That’S what we were advised here, i remember last time that you know do not go to parks cover your legs cover your arms. You can’t cover your face. Just do not go to places where there is stagnant water, so on and so forth, because i was also caught. You know, 10 years ago in a similar situation, so um that’s, the precaution i think women who are carrying babies should take. But then, overall kerala is doing all that it can to kind of contain the spread of zika virus and that’s very good to know rajiv jaidevan. As always, it was such a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much rajiv jaidevan for joining me on this broadcast.