The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed the first three cases of Zika virus disease in India.
All the three cases were reported from Ahmedabad city of Gujarat state. Two pregnant women were found to be infected with Zika virus.
These cases were detected between last November and February this year. The global health body has confirmed it now.
“These findings suggest low level transmission of Zika virus and new cases may occur in the future. Efforts to strengthen surveillance should be maintained in order to better characterize the intensity of the viral circulation and geographical spread, and monitor Zika virus related complications,” said a statement of WHO.
It further said, “Zika virus is known to be circulating in South East Asia Region and these findings do not change the global risk assessment”.
However, Indian government has said that there is no need to panic as all the three patients have now recovered.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), told NDTV that the three patients had no overseas travel and so the infection could have been acquired locally. “There is no need to panic. All three cases recovered,” she said.
Indian Health ministry has asked all state governments to follow standard protocols to prevent outbreak of the disease. The guidelines and action plan have also been shared with the states.
The disease is spread by mosquitoes and infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects in newborns.
In India 50,000 samples have been taken to test Zika virus.
The disease was first reported from Brazil in 2015 and after which it spread to more than 60 countries.