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Rajasthan: Abnormal-head-causing Zika Virus not found

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Rohit  Shishodia
The Zika virus strain that has been found in Jaipur, Rajasthan, may not be adverse to the fetus. This has been revealed in a study carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Even so, high surveillance is required so that no possibility of such a case may occur in future. Pune's ICMR-National Institute of Virology, has sequenced five Zika virus strains collected at different time points of the Jaipur outbreak.

Advanced molecular studies of Zika virus strains, carried out by ICMR-NIV, Pune, reveals that known mutations linked to fetal microcephaly (abnormal smallness of the head, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development in babies) and high transmissibility of Zika virus in Aedes mosquitoes, are not present in the current Zika virus.

A health ministry press release states that the government is still maintaining high vigil against the possibility of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to this deadly virus because the strain may mutate in future or some other unknown/host factors may play a role in microcephaly /other birth defects.

So far, round 2000 samples have been tested for Zika virus positivity, of which 159 positive cases have been confirmed.


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