ICMR to conduct trials of indigenously developed Zika vaccine

ICMR to conduct trials of indigenously developed Zika vaccine

The (ICMR) will soon undertake trials of the indigenously developed vaccine against Zika virus, cases of which have been reported in Madhya Pradesh, and

The ICMR will undertake phase-II trial of the vaccine to establish the efficacy and safety of the vaccine along with its adverse effects, a senior said.

Vaccines manufacturer, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, has developed a vaccine, which they claim will provide protection against caused by an Asian strain as well as by the African strain, the said.

“The company had developed the vaccine around two years ago. At that time we did not have an outbreak of Zika in as it was only restricted to

is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and also there is a breakout in some states. Vector control is one of the most challenging work. Thus the vaccine, if its efficacy is proved, is a better strategy,” the said.

The process for regulatory approvals to carry out the trial will be initiated soon, he informed.

Two persons, who tested positive for the Zika virus, diedin Madhya Pradesh’s district while the number of people suffering from the has crossed 120 in the state.

The deceased — an 18-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman — were suffering from the virus and other “serious” Therefore, it cannot be said they died due to Zika , officials had clarified.

The virus has infected 127 people, out of which 40 are pregnant women, the officials said.

People have tested positive for the Zika virus in seven districts of This includes 44 cases reported from Bhopal, 20 from Sehore, 29 from Vidisha, two each from Sagar and Hoshangabad, and one each from Narsinghpur and Raisen.

A central team is reviewing the situation and assisting the government to replicate measures and the action plan implemented in and to contain the disease, the said.

has reported 159 cases of

In India, the first outbreak of the Zika virus was reported in in January 2017 and the second in Tamil Nadu’s district in July that year. Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management.

During the latest outbreak of the virus in the country, the first case surfaced on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman tested positive for the virus in Since then, the number of Zika cases have risen to 153 in

In an intensive screening exercise is being undertaken and vector control measures have been intensified. The government has also issued an advisory to district administrations to take steps to check mosquito breeding.

The state department has advised pregnant women not to visit the affected areas.

The Zika virus, transmitted through the aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis,

It is harmful for pregnant women, as the mother can pass the to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth leading to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s is significantly smaller than normal.

The is under surveillance of the Union Ministry although it is no longer a Public Emergency of International Concern under the WHO notification.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)