City doctor to spread awareness on Zika to his fraternity

Dr Sunil Morekar completed an online course on Zika virus from University of Geneva and is now set to spread awareness on the infection in his fraternity. According to Morekar, one of the symptoms of Zika virus infection is conjunctivitis. After WHO confirmed three cases of Zika virus in India, the directorate of health services of Maharashtra had advised doctors and health officials to be alert. The WHO has also launched a Zika app with the aim to provide essential information on Zika virus disease and its suspected complications

City doctor to spread awareness on Zika to his fraternity
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A Mumbai-based ophthalmologist Dr Sunil Morekar, who completed an online course on Zika virus from University of Geneva, is set to spread awareness on the infection in his fraternity.

After the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed three cases of Zika virus in India from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the directorate of health services of Maharashtra had advised doctors and health officials to be alert on symptoms of the infection.

Dr Sunil Morekar
Dr Sunil Morekar

“One of the symptoms of Zika virus is conjunctivitis. In the course, I have learnt everything about Zika virus and how to control it. After knowing that Zika virus infection can may cause conjunctivitis, I can stay alert and refer the patient coming with conjunctivitis for Zika virus tests if s/he has other symptoms too,” said Dr Morekar, ophthalmologist at Nanavati Hospital. The doctor now plans to write to all associations of doctors so that he can hold workshops on Zika Virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also launched a Zika app with the aim to provide essential information on Zika virus disease and its suspected complications. Designed primarily for health care workers and responders, the app can also be a source of real-time information for general public.

In the information provided on WHO’s website, the app can be downloaded and used on IOS or on android platforms and have easy-to-use information at your fingertips. One can also get WHO’s technical guidance and other useful resources, follow ongoing Zika related-research and development, stay updated about the latest news, and follow the international response to Zika. New content will be added to the app in weeks to come.

The app is currently available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Other language versions are also in the pipeline.

As per the WHO’s press release, the first Zika virus case in India was reported in February 2016, the other two were reported in November 2016 and January this year. The Union Health ministry maintains that the outbreak has been contained and no other case has been reported since January, 2017.

The virus

Zika virus is transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito. It was first identified in 1947 in rhesus monkeys in Uganda and was first identified in human beings in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania, according to WHO. Outbreaks of Zika fever have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Symptoms

The symptoms are similar to dengue and chikungunya as the diseases spread through the same mosquito. Most common are mild fever, conjunctivitis (red eyes), headache, rashes and muscle or joint pain.

About one in five people fall ill when infected with the zika virus.

Treatment

Till now no vaccines or medication has not been found to treat the disease.

Once can the treat symptoms by…

Getting plenty of rest.

Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration.

Taking acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain.

Avoiding aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Prevention

The best way to prevent the virus from spreading infection is to control mosquitoes biting people. Special attention should be given to children. Clean water stored in containers should be regularly replaced