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WHO confirms 3 cases of Zika virus in India

Dawood Rehman 04:28 PM | 30 May, 2017
WHO confirms 3 cases of Zika virus in India
NEW DELHI - Zika virus disease has reached India, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirming first three cases in southernmost state of Gujarat.

The WHO endorsed the findings of laboratory tests conducted in the country, saying all three cases, including that of a pregnanat woman, were reported from Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad city.

The disease is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes and an infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects in newborns known as microcephaly — a condition in which babies' head is abnormally small. It is characterised by brain damage and may cause other defects like blindness, deafness, and even seizures.

The surveillance system put in place by the Health Ministry succeeded in identifying three adults infected with the Zika virus between November 2016 and February 2017 in Gujarat. But the Ministry acted less than responsibly by withholding the information from everyone.

Even the World Health Organization was informed about the three cases as recently as May 15, more than five months after the first case was laboratory-confirmed. Information regarding the cases came to light when the WHO posted the information on its website on May 26, The Hindu reported.

"The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare - Government of India (MoHFW) reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat State, India," the global health body said in a statement.

Between 10-16 February in 2016, a total 93 blood samples were collected at BJ Medical College (BJMC) out of which one sample from a 64-year-old male had tested positive for Zika virus.

"This was first Zika positive case reported through AFI surveillance from Gujarat," the statement said.

Also, a 34-year-old woman delivered a baby at BJMC on 9 November and during her stay in the hospital she developed a low-grade fever after delivery.

The woman had no history of fever during pregnancy and had no history of travel for three months. A sample from the patient was referred to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) for dengue testing and was found to be positive for the virus.

"She was discharged after one week (on 16 November, 2016). The sample was re-confirmed as Zika virus positive at NIV," the statement said.

Besides, a 22-year-old pregnant woman in her 37th week of pregnancy was tested positive for Zika virus disease at the same hospital.

All the international airports and ports have displayed information for travellers on Zika virus disease while the airport health officers along with airport organisations, the National Centre for Disease Control and the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme are monitoring appropriate vector control measures in airport premises.

The risk of further spread of Zika virus to areas where the competent vectors, the aedes mosquitoes, are present is significant given the wide geographical distribution of these mosquitoes in various regions of the world.

Those infected with the virus may have mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.

While countries in the Caribbean are worst hit by the disease, a large number of cases have been reported from South and Central America.

Where did Zika come from?

It was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. The first human case was detected in Nigeria in 1954 and there have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Most were small and Zika has not previously been considered a major threat to human health. But in May 2015 it was reported in Brazil and since spread rapidly.

In November 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Zika will no longer be treated as an international medical emergency. However, it said the virus still posed a "significant and enduring" threat.

Dawood Rehman
Dawood Rehman

The writer is a member of the staff.

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 03, 2023 (Friday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 272.25 273.25
Euro EUR 297.32 297.65
UK Pound Sterling GBP 333.31 333.61
U.A.E Dirham AED 73.03 73.33
Saudi Riyal SAR 71.49 71.80
Australian Dollar AUD 188.9 191.3
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.73 720.73
Canadian Dollar CAD 200.95 203.15
China Yuan CNY 39.67 40.07
Danish Krone DKK 39.11 39.51
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 877.76 886.76
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.76 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.3

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 212,900 on Friday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs182,530.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Karachi PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Islamabad PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Peshawar PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Quetta PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Sialkot PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Attock PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Gujranwala PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Jehlum PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Multan PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Bahawalpur PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Gujrat PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Nawabshah PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Chakwal PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Hyderabad PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Nowshehra PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Sargodha PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Faisalabad PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Mirpur PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420

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