Zika Virus in Kerala: All you need to know about symptoms, treatment & prevention

coastaldigest.com news network
July 9, 2021

Even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kerala, at least 14 cases of Zika virus infections have been suspected in the state, confirmed state Health Minister Veena George.

A 24-year-old pregnant women from Parassala, who was first detected with the virus, is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.

How does Zika virus spread? What are the symptoms? Here's all you need to know.

The Zika virus spreads by the bite of an Aedes species mosquito. The Aedes is the kind of mosquito that bites during the day and is responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those infected with the Zika virus can also transmit the disease to their sexual partners.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most people with Zika virus do not develop any symptoms. Only one in five people are likely to show symptoms, studies say. However, if they do, the symptoms are expected to last 2-7 days.

The most common symptoms are:

Fever

Rash

Conjunctivitis

Muscle and joint pain

Headache

Does a person need hospitalisation?

Deaths remain rare and most people do not require hospitalisation.

How is Zika virus treated?

According to the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no specific medicine for Zika virus.

Those infected are treated for symptoms.

Advised plenty of rest.

Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.

If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

Is this a new virus?

No. The virus itself has been around for decades, but it came into prominence when there was an increase in the number of babies in south and central America who were born with a small skull. This condition is called microcephaly, reported FIT.

Does Zika virus affected pregnant women differently?

The virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her foetus – resulting in the infant being born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations. It is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage.

Is there a vaccine for Zika virus?

There are no approved vaccines. However, trials are underway – especially for a vaccine that uses similar technology as the Oxford-AstraZeneca one.

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Agencies
August 4,2022

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China's People's Liberation Army has begun biggest-ever military exercises including live firing on the waters and in the airspace surrounding the island of Taiwan following US politician Nancy Pelosi's visit.

The live fire drills began at 12:00 local time (04:00 GMT) on July 4 and in several areas were due to take place within 12 miles of the island.

Taiwan said China was trying to change the status quo in the region.

Ms Pelosi made a brief but controversial visit to Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.

The drills are Beijing's main response, although it has also blocked some trade with the island.

The exercises are due to take place in busy waterways and will include long-range live ammunition shooting, Beijing says.

Taiwan says it amounts to a sea and air blockade while the US said the drills were irresponsible and could spiral out of control.

Analyst Bonnie Lin told the BBC that the Taiwanese military would react cautiously but there was still a risk of confrontation.

"For example, if China decides to fly planes over Taiwan's airspace, there is a chance that Taiwan might try to intercept them. And we could see a mid air collision, we could see a lot of different scenarios playing out," she said.

Taiwan said it scrambled jets to warn off Chinese warplanes on Wednesday and its military fired flares to drive away unidentified aircraft over the Kinmen islands, located close to the mainland.

Several ministries have suffered cyber-attacks in recent days, the Taiwanese government said.

Taiwan has also asked ships to take different routes and is negotiating with Japan and the Philippines to find alternative aviation routes.

Japan has also expressed concern to China over the areas covered by the military drills, which it says overlaps with its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In response, Chinese government spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing did not accept the "so-called" Japan EEZ.

On Wednesday, China detained a suspected Taiwanese separatist in the coastal Zhejiang province on suspicion of endangering national security, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile China's Ambassador to France Lu Shaye told French TV that after "reunification" with Taiwan, Beijing would focus on "re-education".

China has previously used the term "re-education" to refer to its detention of mostly-Muslim minorities in its north-western Xinjiang region, where human rights groups say more than a million people have been incarcerated.

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Agencies
August 12,2022

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New York, Aug 12: Controversial author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck at an event in New York, US, on Friday. Details were scarce about his condition and the attacker, who has been detained. The 75-year-old author's writings have in the past led to threats.

The New York State Police confirmed the stabbing and said he was taken to an area hospital by helicopter. The attacker is in custody, police said. Social media posts showed people rushing to his aid on stage at Chautauqua Institution, about 100 km from the city. A person interviewing him suffered minor head injuries in the attack. 

Mr Rushdie fell to the floor immediately after the attack, and the attacker was restrained. A small group of people surrounded the author, holding up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest, AP reported. Hundreds of people in the audience gasped at the sight of the attack and were then evacuated.

Rabbi Charles Savenor, who was in the audience, told AP: "This guy ran on to platform and started pounding on Mr Rushdie. At first you're like, ‘What's going on?' And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten." He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds. 

The attack happened around 11 am local time (8.30 pm IST) as Mr Rushdie was being introduced before he was to speak. The Chautauqua Institution, located in a rural part of New York, is known for its summertime lecture series. Mr Rushdie has spoken there before.

Delhi-based British writer William Dalrymple was among the first to react, hoping that Mr Rushdie wasn't hurt. "A terrible day for literature, for freedom of speech and for authors everywhere. Poor poor Salman: I pray he's not hurt and recovers quickly," he tweeted.

Mr Rushdie, 75, faced threats particularly in the late 1980s over his book, The Satanic Verses, which is banned in Iran since 1988 as it is alleged to be blasphemous towards Islam. There was also a reward out on his head by the Iranian top leader, though by 1998 the Iranian government said it wasn't seeking to enforce that 'fatwa' or edict. It wasn't clear if the attack is linked to that.

A British citizen of Indian origin, Mr Rushdie has lived in the US for the past 20 years. After the controversy over his fourth book, The Satanic Verses (1988), he remained out of the public eye, mostly living in the UK. Despite the threats, he produced several novels throughout the 1990s.

His first novel came out in 1975, but one of his seminal works is about modern India, Midnight's Children (1981), for which he won the Booker Prize. 

In 2007, he was knighted — given the ceremonial title of 'Sir' — by Queen Elizabeth II for services to literature. He has produced over a dozen works, including non-fiction.

In 2012, after an Iranian religious outfit renewed the bounty on him, he dismissed that threat, saying there was "no evidence" of people being interested in the reward, said the AP report. That year, he published a memoir, Joseph Anton, about the fatwa. The title came from the pseudonym he had used while in hiding.

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News Network
August 11,2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 11: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday abolished the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) constituted by the state government in 2016.

A division bench of Justices B Veerappa and KS Hemalekha pronounced the order while allowing the public interest litigations filed by advocate Chidananda Urs, Advocates' Association of Bangalore and Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya challenging the constitution of ACB.

The petitioners have challenged the notifications issued by the state government in March 2016 constituting ACB and withdrawing the powers of the Prevention of Corruption Act from Karnataka Lokayukta.

Quashing both the notifications, the division bench directed the ACB to transfer the cases and officers under its ambit to Karnataka Lokayukta which will have to take up those cases further and utilise those officers' services to strengthen Lokayukta institution to eradicate corruption.

Further, the high court directed the state government to maintain transparency and appoint a competent person as Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta in the interest of the public.

The court observed that the state government has failed to justify why the notification was issued to create Anti-Corruption Bureau and also why it has withdrawn powers from Lokayukta to investigate cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Siddaramaiah- led Congress government created ACB in 2016. Though the BJP promised to restore the powers of the Prevention of Corruption Act with Lokayukta in its manifesto, the BJP government failed to keep up its promise.

On the other hand, the JD (S), which had promised to restore the power to probe corruption cases with Lokayukta if it comes to power, did not do it since it formed a coalition government.

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