The 30-year old Indian athlete who competed in the steeplechase competition at 2016 Rio Olympics, touched down India on Saturday and was immediately escorted to a hospital in Bengaluru. This immediate action was taken as Sudha has been down with severe fever, shockingly low blood pressure and has also been complaining about fatigue and body pain.
To take extra precautions the doctors have kept the participant of steeplechase in isolation. While they have been giving her the treatment for normal virus, they have also been testing her for symptoms of Zika Virus. In an interview with NDTV, the doctor from ports Authority of India, Dr. S R Sarala, has said “It is probably just a viral infection but as protocol, we are investigating to rule out Zika,”.
Sudha’s blood samples have been sent by her doctors to virology institutes to check for the Zika Virus. It is highly likely that she may have acquired the disease during her stay in Brazil, as it has recently suffered a major outbreak of this specific virus making it a country with the highest rate of infection.
Zika Virus is spread through getting bitten by infected mosquitos. These infected mosquitos are the same which spread other deadly diseases such as yellow fever and dengue. Although there hasn’t been any vaccination created specifically to cure Zika Virus, yet, there are treatments which are undertaken to help patients.
Due to the same reason, as Brazil has the highest rate of Zika Virus infection, many world class sports players and athletes, including, tennis players and golfers, refused to participate at Rio Olympics.
In May, Sudha had broken a record in steeplechase under women’s 3000m, when she participated in IAAF Diamond League at Shanghai. This victory had her pumped up and motivated for Rio Olympics. However, along with herm the two of her room mates who shared a same room in Rio, runners of Marathon Kavita Raut and OP Daisha, have also showed symptoms of viral infection, although on a milder level. To this Dr. S R Sarala said that “It is respiratory droplet infection”.
There has been news of Sudha’s recovery, although no confirmation about her being infected by Zika Virus has been made.