The Health Ministry has put the district administration on high alert after 29 people tested positive for Zika virus in Jaipur, Rajasthan. A person from Bihar, who has recently visited his hometown Siwan, is also among the ones infected. Bihar also issued advisories to all its districts.
“A total of 22 positive laboratory-confirmed cases have been detected. A control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to undertake regular monitoring of the situation,” said the ministry in a statement. Recently, 7 more cases have been detected in the city.
The ministry further mentioned, “All suspect cases in the defined area and mosquito samples from this area are being tested. All pregnant mothers in the area are being monitored through the National Health Mission (NHM). Extensive surveillance and vector control measures are being taken up in the areas as per protocol by the state government.”
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“Additional testing kits are provided to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories. A high-level joint monitoring group of technical experts headed by Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has met twice to monitor the preparedness and response measures.”
The 7-member high level central team has been deputed in the city and will be assisting the state authorities in containing the Zika virus.
The government has put neighbouring states on high alert. Sunil Gupta, additional director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), informed, “We have alerted neighbouring states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, to keep strict vigil on Zika virus. Given that the festive season is around the corner, many people travel to popular tourist destinations for year-end holidays. Since there is seamless travel between these states, the health authorities will have to be careful.”
The first case was of Zika virus in India was reported from Ahmedabad in January 2017.
Zika virus is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day.
Symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache, typically lasting for 2–7 days. Most infected people do not develop symptoms.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome. Infection with Zika virus is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage.
An increased risk of neurologic complications is associated with Zika virus infection in adults and children, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis.