Indian Medical Association Issues Zika Alert

Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a Zika alert in the country. The IMA, which is the largest association of allopathic doctors, has asked physicians and the people to be aware and vigilant.

The association also said that local mosquito transmission of Zika virus infection has been reported in Singapore. Local mosquito transmission implies that mosquitoes in the area are infected with the Zika virus and are spreading it to humans.

IMA recommended that travellers to Singapore protect themselves from mosquito bites. In fact, a pregnant woman can pass the Zika virus to her foetus and an infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.

The association also noted that many people infected with the Zika virus may not feel sick. Among those who do develop symptoms, sickness is usually mild and lasts about a week. If a mosquito bites an infected human while the virus is still in that person’s blood, it can spread the virus when it bites another person.

The IMA has also asked people to be aware about the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis for a few weeks to several months.

Though the syndrome is strongly associated with Zika, only a small proportion of people with the infection get GBS. Also, most people recover fully.