Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Everything about Zika Virus
Mains level: Tackling Zika Virus menace in India
- In what is India’s first large outbreak of the Zika virus, afresh 100 cases have been detected so far Jaipur itself.
- A look at how the virus spreads and the big risk it involves — the possibility of babies being born with a defect:
- Zika is a viral infection, spread by mosquitoes.
- The vector is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue and Chikungunya.
- First identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys, Zika was detected in humans five years later.
- Sporadic cases have been reported throughout the world since the 1960s, but the first outbreak happened only in 2007 in the Island of Yap in the Pacific.
- In 2015, a major outbreak in Brazil led to the revelation that Zika can be associated with microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with small and underdeveloped brains.
Transmission of Zika Virus
- Infected people can transmit Zika sexually.
- Fears around Zika primarily involve microcephaly, especially when pregnant women are infected.
- Generally, the virus is not considered dangerous to anyone other than pregnant women.
- Some countries that have had a Zika outbreak, including Brazil, reported a steep increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome — a neurological disorder that could lead to paralysis and death, according to WHO.
- In 2017, following a study on Brazil’s confirmed cases, the US National Institutes of Health study estimated the fatality rate at 8.3%.
- Most people infected with the virus do not develop symptoms.
- When they are manifested, the symptoms are similar to those of flu, including fever bodyache, headache etc.
- WHO says these symptoms can be treated with common pain and fever medicines, rest and plenty of water.
- If the symptoms worsen, people should seek medical advice.
- Additional symptoms can include the occasional rash like in dengue, while some patients also have conjunctivitis.
- The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3-14 days.
Preventive Measures against Zika
- Mosquito control measures such as spraying of pesticides, use of repellents etc. are widely suggested.
- Because of the possibility of congenital abnormalities and sexual transmission, there is also focus on contraceptives.
- WHO requires countries to counsel sexually active men and women on the matter to minimize chances of conception at the time of an outbreak.