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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)
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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.

Zika
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.

Also Read: Indian Supreme Court Allows Only Green Firecrackers

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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Xiaomi Focusing on Rural Retail in India

But the eight-year-old company wants to be recognised not as just another smartphone company and it began working towards this mission in 2014

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Xiaomi
Xiaomi wants to change rural retail in India with new business.

Chinese electronics major Xiaomi, which is focusing on amplifying its product portfolio beyond smartphones, is all set to launch on Tuesday a new business which, according to the company, will “change rural retail in India”.

“Excited about a new business that we are launching. We’ll announce it tomorrow,” Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi Global and Managing Director, Xiaomi India, revealed in a tweet on Monday.

“This new business will forever change rural retail in India,” he stressed.

Started with the online-only strategy, Xiaomi is fast expanding its presence in offline retail as well.

In September, the company launched its fourth flagship “Mi Home” experience store in the country, in Bengaluru, along with a new office.

“With the launch of a new ‘Mi Home’ experience store, we aim to bring maximum international products to the Indian markets,” Jain said at the time of the launch.

The complaint alleged that Xiaomi had used the patents without any license from Yulong.
Started with the online-only strategy, Xiaomi is fast expanding its presence in offline retail as well, wikimedia commons

With the purpose of strengthening its offline network further, Xiaomi said in September it wanted to open 100 “Mi Home” stores in 2018 itself.

Known for its low-cost phones, the company shipped 11.7 million units and became the top brand in the Indian market with 27.3 per cent share in the third quarter this year, with Samsung at second spot, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report last week.

The company grew to a new high on the back of its successful Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 Pro series and refreshed Redmi 6/A/Pro portfolio, said the report.

Also Read- Apple Makes a Deal with Amazon, Which is Win-Win Game For Both

But the eight-year-old company wants to be recognised not as just another smartphone company and it began working towards this mission in 2014.

Along with its products in the smart home portfolio, its is also venturing into non-technology related segments like luggage, shoes, apparel and more. (IANS)