The Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) will soon begin clinical trials of an indigenously developed vaccine against Zika virus reported in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The ICMR will conduct Phase II clinical trials of the vaccine to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, along with the side effects of the vaccine, senior officials said.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, a vaccine manufacturer, has developed a vaccine that claims to protect against infection by Asian Zika and African Zika viruses.
"The company developed a vaccine two years ago, and there was no outbreak of Zika in India, which was limited to Latin America at that time." The Zika virus spreads mainly to people through the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes, and in some states breakouts occur. . Vector control is one of the most difficult tasks. Therefore, if the vaccine proves its effectiveness, it is a better strategy. "
The regulatory approval process for conducting the trial will begin soon, he said.
"Yes, we are having a conversation with Bharat Biotech, but the approval has not yet been made, it should go through drug regulators too, but the trial will be only next year. Balram Bhargava of the Research Council (ICMR) said.
Two people who were positive for the Zika virus died in the Bhopal area of Madhya Pradesh, but the number of people suffering from the disease was more than 120 in the country.
The 18 – year – old man and 23 – year – old woman were suffering from viruses and other "serious" diseases. So it can not be said that Zika died of it.
The virus infected 127 people, of whom 40 were pregnant women.
People were positive for Zika virus in seven areas of Madhya Pradesh. 44 reports from Bhopal, 20 from Sehore, 29 from Vidisha, 2 from Sagar and Hoshangabad, and 1 from Narsinghpur and Raisen, respectively.
A senior official said the Jamaican Pradesh government is reviewing the situation and helping to recreate actions taken in Jaipur and Ahmedabad.
Rajasthan reported 159 cases of Zika infection.
In India, Zika virus first developed in Ahmedabad in January 2001 and was reported in the Krishnagiri region of Tamil Nadu for the second time in July of the same year. Both occurrences have been successfully achieved through intensive monitoring and vector management.
A recent case of Pakistan's recent virus outbreak was the first on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman was tested positive for the virus in Jaipur. Since then, in Rajasthan, there have been 153 cases of Zika.
In Madhya Pradesh, intensive screening is performed and vector control measures are enhanced. The government also advised local governments to take steps to check for mosquito breeding.
The State Department of Health has advised pregnant women not to visit the affected area.
Aeges aegypti Zika virus transmitted through mosquitoes causes fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. It is harmful to pregnant women. Microcephaly can develop because it can transmit an infection to the fetus during pregnancy or at birth. This is a condition in which microcephaly is significantly smaller than normal.
The disease is no longer a public emergency of international health issues under the WHO notification but is under the supervision of the Allied Health Authority.
(With agency feedback)
First published: November 19, 2018 08:42 IST