LAHORE: Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) has warned that mosquitoes carrying Zika virus have been found in Pakistan.
A member of GOARN said, “Keeping in view the presence of Zika mosquitoes in the country, the health sector is on high alert and has been urged to devise a strategy for its possible appearance and spread in the country.”
“The most common symptoms of Zika virus diseases are fever, rashes, joint pains and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for a week to several days. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika,” he added.
Outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Island and most recently, the Americas. As the mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, including Pakistan, it is likely that outbreaks will continue to spread.
Although the virus has zero mortality rates, it poses a serious threat to pregnant women as the virus directly affects babies before they are born as they are subject to severe birth defects.
The outbreak of Zika in Brazil also led to reports of the virus causing the Guillain- Barre Syndrome (GBS) discovered in newborns. GBS is a rare disorder where a person’s own immune system damages the nerve cells causing muscle weakness and at times paralysis.