WHO warns southeast Asian countries against Zika virus, urges them to take preventive measures

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday urged southeast Asian countries to strengthen surveillance and preventive measures against Zika virus, already reported in 22 countries and territories in central and south America.

"There is a need for the South-East Asian countries to increase surveillance and take preventive measures against Zika virus which is strongly suspected to have a causal relation with clusters of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities," said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO South-East Asia regional director.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The WHO has declared the recent clusters of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities reported in the Americas as a public health emergency of international concern.

Khetrapal said the countries should build capacities of their laboratories to detect the virus and strengthen surveillance for cases of fever and rashes, neurological syndromes and birth defects.

The Zika virus, first discovered in Uganda in 1947, is spread through bites of Aedes aegypti mosquito, the vector for dengue. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rashes, joints pain and conjunctivitis.

The illness is usually mild with the symptoms lasting a week. There is no vaccine for Zika virus disease at present.

Meanwhile, the union health ministry on Tuesday released a list of guideline to prevent the spread of Zika virus in India.

"All sectors that can assist should be engaged, and the public told about the risks and preventive measures against Zika virus disease. People can protect themselves against mosquito bites by using insect repellents, wearing clothes that cover as much of the body as possible," an official statement said.

IANS


Updated Date: Feb 02, 2016 20:30 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See