Dual burden of Zika and COVID-19 in India: challenges, opportunities and recommendations

Document Type

Letter to the Editor

Publication Title

Tropical Medicine and Health


The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in the world from last year, and any further insults like Zika virus will surely bring the apocalypse unto us. In July 2021, Zika began spreading in India, mainly in the state of Kerala. Zika infection resembles closely COVID-19 and other arboviral infections, which might lead to delayed and misdiagnosis, further leading to underreporting of cases. Some of the feared complications of Zika include Guillain–Barré syndrome and congenital Zika syndrome leading to microcephaly. Thus, Zika virus disease (ZVD) has significant public health and social impacts. Since the trifecta of infectious diseases (host, agent and environment) are all conducive to the spread of Zika in India, there is a huge risk that ZVD might become endemic in India, which is especially dangerous in the backdrop of this pandemic. This has to be stopped at all costs: the main aspects of which are public health measures, vector control and early diagnosis, especially in case of pregnant women. The diversion of healthcare resources for this pandemic has albeit made this difficult, but we must do our bit if we have to overcome this situation.



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