There has recently been much media speculation regarding India’s willingness to accurately report the Zika cases that may, or may not have occurred in the country. Now, after months of speculation and investigating, India has announced that they encountered their first Zika infected victim several months ago, before the year even began. Last November a thirty four year old woman had just given birth. Almost immediately after the birth, the woman began experiencing flu-like symptoms. Indian officials, fearing the Zika virus, ran tests on the woman, and sure enough, the woman had become ill with the virus.
Immediately after the doctors diagnosed the woman with the Zika virus, health officials began fumigating neighborhoods near the infected woman’s home. The officials also collected mosquito larvae for Zika testing. After this first case last November, Indian health officials have strongly increased their efforts to contain the virus by locating more Zika infected citizens. And that worked because two more Zika infected Indian citizens have been diagnosed with the disease. However, officials within the country of India never reported their Zika cases, until now.
Only India’s top government officials were made aware of the fact that India had Zika infected people within their borders. Beyond top government officials, nobody knew, even India’s citizenry was completely unaware of the infected persons within their own country.
According to Indian health officials, the three Zika cases were kept secret in order to avoid a panic. However, some experts are still critical of India’s supposed willingness to cooperate with global efforts to contain the Zika virus. In fact, some are saying that Zika has been within the country of India for decades.
Zika antibodies were first discovered in Uganda during late 1940’s. Then, in 1952, according to an old medical study, seventeen percent of 196 Indian subjects had already been carrying Zika antibodies. Some experts believe that much of the Indian population is immune to the virus since Zika had already infected many citizens decades ago.
Do you think that a Zika outbreak could have occurred before humanity achieved the medical breakthroughs necessary to properly screen entire populations for diseases?
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