India now under Zika risk category 2

New Delhi: Following the detection of Zika virus cases in India, the World Health Organization (WHO) has put India in Category 2 of risk classification, which essentially means that India is an area of on-going transmission of Zika virus.
For those countries in risk classification Category 2, WHO warns, “Over time, countries in this category may experience outbreaks of the disease, which will be difficult to distinguish from seasonal fluctuations or surveillance artefacts.” India will be monitored by WHO for twelve months at least before it expects a relief in the change of category. “The minimum timeline for determining transition to an interrupted state is 12 months after the last confirmed case. If no cases are identified in travelers, a reclassification may be considered after provision of surveillance data followed by an expert review,” state WHO guidelines.
In the South East Asian Region, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Indonesia have been put in Category 2. Until April 13, 2017, India was put in Category 4 (an area with established competent vector but no known documented cases of past or current transmission). The vector is ‘Aedes Aegypti,’ a species of mosquitoes, which cause dengue, chikungunya, and zika.
The first case of zika was identified in India in November 2016. However, it is evident that substantial time passed before risk classification could be updated. What is further more shocking is that residents in Bapunagar slums of Ahmedabad, which was cited as the breeding ground of the virus, were unaware of measures to be taken to protect themselves from the disease.
Furthermore, on May 30, WHO has cleared that the Zika virus has been doing rounds in India since February 2017 and not 2016. WHO said that it had received a typographical error from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) of India, as the case of a 64-year-old male testing positive for the virus was detected in February 2017 and not February 2016, as reported earlier.

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