GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Zika infection has
trans-national dimensions which causes complications in infants
Q. Zika infection has trans-national dimensions which
causes complications in infants . (12.5 Marks)
(General Studies Mains Paper III- Science and Technology : Effects in
Model Answer :
Zika Infection :
Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae.
aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters.
They can also bite at night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her
fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. Also, a fifth
of affected babies might appear normal but actually had brain abnormalities;
infection in newborns could also lead to brain damage.
Zika infections in pregnant women have been shown to cause microcephaly - a
severe birth defect in which the head and brain are undersized - as well as
other brain abnormalities. The connection between Zika and microcephaly first
came to light in Brazil, which has since confirmed more than 1,800 cases of
microcephaly. In adults, Zika infections have also been linked to a rare
neurological syndrome known as Guillain-Barre, as well as other neurological
The Zika virus was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. The first
human case, however, was detected in Nigeria in 1954, and following that there
have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.
It is transmitted by the same type of mosquitothat carries dengue fever, yellow
fever, and chikungunya virus. A mosquito bites an infected person and then
passes those viruses to other people it bites.
Most cases have no symptoms, but when present they are usually mild and can
resemble dengue fever. An estimated 80 percent of people infected have no
symptoms, making it difficult for pregnant women to know whether they have been
There’s no treatment, but most people with symptoms do well with
over-the-counter medications for aches and pains. The disease usually runs its
course within a week or so. No vaccine is available, but the National Institutes
of Health announced that it had begun testing a Zika vaccine in humans.
Trans-National Dimensions :
India has been gearing up to combat the threat posed by infectious diseases
that have trans-national dimensions. The just concluded India-U.S. Strategic and
Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) included a segment on devising suitable response to
The United States, Australia and other countries have added Singapore to the
growing list of places that pregnant women or those trying to conceive have been
warned to avoid.