Government of many countries including India have issued a notice urging pregnant women to avoid travelling to countries which have been affected by Zika virus. The union health ministry of India has urged deferment or cancellation of non-essential travel to Zika-affected countries.
The notice has been issued following the announcement of World Health Organisation (WHO) which on Feb 1 declared Zika virus disease to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
What is Zika virus?
Transmitted by daytime-active Aedes Aegypti mosquito, Zika virus was first found in Zika Forest of Uganda. The virus first was isolated in 1947.
The mosquitoes, which carry Zika virus, also carry dengue, chikungunya viruses.
How to avoid Zika Virus?
- Avoid travelling to Zika virus-affected countries
- Use mosquito nets at home
- Take special care if you find any mosquito breeding in and around your house
- Water should not be kept at birdbaths, planters, non-used bottles, containers, discarded waste, tyres etc for a long time
- Zika virus is carried by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes which breed in fresh water
- Wear such dresses which cover you fully
- Arrange for tree plantations, plants which are known to repel mosquitoes such as citronella, basil, lemon grass, lavender, mint, rosemary etc.
- Use creams, gels, electronic mosquito repellants, patches, incense sticks