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Fetal Microcephaly Not Found In The Zika Virus Strain Of Rajasthan

In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in the beginning of 2017

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Nurses set up a mosquito tent over a hospital bed, as part of a precautionary protocol for patients who are infected by Zika at Farrer Park Hospital in Singapore Sept. 2, 2016 (VOA)

Zika virus strains linked to fetal microcephaly were not found in Rajasthan, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Microcephaly is a birth defect in which babies are born with extremely small heads.

“Advanced molecular studies of zika virus strains, carried out through Next Generation Sequencing suggest that the known mutations linked to fetal microcephaly and high transmissibility of zika virus in aedes mosquitoes are not present in the current zika virus strain that has affected Rajasthan,” a statement by the Ministry said.

Zika
Aedes aegypti mosquitos, potential carriers of the Zika virus, are photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador, Feb. 3, 2016. Researchers have found that during the height of the viral epidemic the incidence of the paralytic illness Guillain-Barre was 100 times the number of cases usually seen.(VOA)

It said the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) had sequenced five zika virus strains collected at different time points of the Jaipur outbreak, which has affected 135 persons.

However, the government is maintaining high vigil of the possibility of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to zika virus as the strain may mutate in future or some other unknown host factors may play a role in microcephaly and other birth defects.

The Ministry said the situation is being reviewed on a daily basis.

Around 2,000 samples were tested for zika virus, of which 159 positive cases have been confirmed.

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FILE – A worker of the Ministry of Public Health and Population fumigates in the street against mosquito breeding to prevent diseases such as malaria, dengue and Zika in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 15, 2016. VOA

“Adequate numbers of testing kits have been provided to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories,” the statement said.

Rajasthan government has been supplied with Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material to create awareness about zika virus disease and its prevention strategies.

All pregnant mothers in the area are being monitored through National Health Mission (NHM). Extensive surveillance and vector control measures are being taken up in the area as per protocol by the state government.

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FILE – A mother holds her son who is 4-months old and born with microcephaly, in Olinda, near Recife, Brazil, Feb. 11, 2016. Researcher Carlos Pardo says that during the height of the Zika outbreak the magnitude of the paralytic disease Guillain-Barre was similar to that of microcephaly but went underreported. (VOA)

Zika virus disease is an emerging disease currently being reported by 86 countries worldwide. Symptoms of zika virus disease are similar to other viral infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.

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In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in the beginning of 2017 and the second in July 2017 from Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu.

It is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern vide World Health Organization’s notification issued on November 18, 2016. (IANS)

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Ayodhya to have World’s Tallest Lord Rama Statue

Adityanath has said that a plan should be prepared for overall development of Ayodhya, too

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Lord Ram's Ayodhya statue to be world's tallest. Wikimedia Commons

The proposed statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya will now get taller, in fact it will be the tallest in the country. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adittyanath said the statue would be 251 metres tall and would be installed on an 100 acre site.

This was decided at a meeting held in Lucknow late on Monday. The Sardar Patel statue in Gujarat is 183 metres tall. An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed with the Gujarat government for technical assistance.

Adityanath has said that a plan should be prepared for overall development of Ayodhya, too. “There should be arrangements for basic tourist facilities along with the digital museum, interpretation centre, library, parking, food plaza, landscaping based on the theme of Lord Shri Ram,” he stated.

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Adityanath has said that a plan should be prepared for overall development of Ayodhya, too. Flickr

It was also decided that trust under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister will be constituted. A separate unit of State Manufacturing Corporation will be set up for the purpose of this project, structure, bidding operation and construction work.

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For the site survey of the project, environmental assessment and feasibility study, assistance will be sought from IIT Kanpur and Nagpur-based NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute), a constituent laboratory of CSIR.

The 251-metre Lord Ram statue will be the world’s tallest. The Statue of Liberty in New York is 93 metres, Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue in Mumbai is 137.2 metres, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s in Gujarat is 183 meters, Gautam Buddha’s statue in China is 208 meters and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in Mumbai is 212 meters. (IANS)