The Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) will soon test the Zika virus vaccine developed at the national level, reported in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
According to a senior official, the ICMR will conduct a Phase II vaccine trial to determine the efficacy and safety of the vaccine along with its adverse effects.
The vaccine maker based on Hyderabad Bharat Biotech has developed a vaccine that they claim will provide protection against infection caused by the Asian Ziki virus strain, as well as the African Ziki virus strain, the official said.
“The company developed a vaccine about two years ago. At the time, we did not have a Zika outbreak in India, since it was limited to Latin America only. Zika virus is common among people mainly through the bite of an infected person. Aedes mosquito species, and there is a breakthrough in some states. Vector management is one of the most difficult tasks. Thus, a vaccine, if its effectiveness is proven, is the best strategy, ”the official said.
He announced that the regulatory approval process for the trial will be launched shortly. Two people who positively rated the Ziki virus died in the Bhopal region of Madhya Pradesh, while 120 people in the state crossed the number of people suffering from this disease. The late – 18-year-old man and 23-year-old woman – suffered from the virus and other "serious" diseases. Therefore, it cannot be said that they died because of Zika, the officials specified.
The virus infected 127 people, of whom 40 were pregnant, officials said.
People have tested positive for Zika virus in 7 districts of Madhya Pradesh. This includes 44 cases from Bhopal, 20 from Sehore, 29 from Vidisha, two from Sagar and Hoshangabad and one from Narsinghpur and Raislen.
The central group is analyzing the situation and helping the government of Madhya Pradesh to repeat the measures and action plan implemented in Jaipur and Ahmedabad to contain the disease, the senior official said. Rajasthan reported 159 cases of Zika.
In India, the first outbreak of the Zika virus was registered in Ahmedabad in January 2017, and the second in the Krishnagiri area in Tamil Nadu in July of the same year. Both of these flashes were successfully concluded through intensive observation and vector control.
During the last outbreak of the virus in the country, the first case appeared on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman tested positive for the virus in Jaipur. Since then, the number of Ziki cases has increased to 153 in Rajasthan.
An intensive screening exercise is being conducted in Madhya Pradesh, and vector control measures have been strengthened. The government also advised district administrations on taking measures to verify the breeding of mosquitoes.
The state health department advised pregnant women not to visit the affected areas.
Zika virus, transmitted through the aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. This is harmful for pregnant women, as the mother can transmit the infection to her fetus during pregnancy or during birth, which leads to microcephaly, a condition in which the baby’s head is much smaller than usual.
The disease is monitored by the Union’s Ministry of Health, although it is no longer a public health emergency in the context of an international concern in accordance with the WHO notification.