Nepal launches pathology test for Zika virus

Kathmandu, March 20: Nepal has started lab test for Zika virus which has taken an epidemic turn in South America. The disease that is caused by the day-time active Aedes mosquitoes has largely affected the South American countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) provided ‘polymerase chain reaction kits’ to Nepal to undergo lab test of the virus, bearing in mind the risk of its outbreak in Nepal. According to National Public Health Laboratory Director Dr Geeta Shakya, the WHO provided 1,000 PCRA kits to Nepal. Epidemiology and Disease Control Division Director Dr Baburam Marasini said Nepal is transit for many countries and timely precautions are needed to be taken to prevent possible risk of zika virus infection.
Pregnant women are the most vulnerable group of the virus infection. The infected expecting mothers can give birth to infant with microcephaly and with mental retardation. The virus was first detected on monkey of the rhesus macaque species in Uganda in 1947 and the first evidence of human infection was detected in 1952. Brazil had seen the outbreak of the virus in 2015 and it has then spread to 24 other countries so far.

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