Kerala has reported 28 cases of Zika virus cases so far, recent data provided by the state Health Department showed. According to top experts, this is a virus of "grave concern".
"Zika virus isn't a pandemic but Zika virus is of grave concern as compared to coronavirus. Coronavirus is spread across individuals in huge numbers but with a mortality rate of 0.2 percent. Most of them tend to settle down and the recovery rate in our own country is also close to 98 percent, despite all these big numbers," Dr Naresh Gupta, director-professor of Delhi's Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) told news agency ANI.
"Zika is a virus of grave concern. Zika virus is something that is occurring in local outbreaks. So, I think if it's occurring in a given state or place, sentinel surveillance must have picked up these cases," he said.
"Whenever there is an outbreak, they are usually in big numbers. It isn't a pandemic. However, one must not underestimate such figures. Even in the case of the coronavirus, there are three thousand varieties that occur in the bats. So, if you look at other viruses, there are thousands of viruses. Most of these viruses will keep coming and going whenever we have fear," Dr Gupta warned.
"This is a known virus. Maybe there is an unknown variant of this virus. We need sentinel surveillance, which means if you know that you have a disease coming up about which we were/are aware of some of the symptoms, that's where detailed lab analysis becomes very important. Then you can identify the different viruses. I am sure that, once they have done the surveillances and picked up these cases with wider testing, they would be able to control it," he further explained.
The first case of the Zika virus was reported in Kerala on July 9. A high alert has been sounded in all districts of the state about the mosquito-borne virus.