Wed, 17 Oct 2018

Zika Virus Outbreak in Rajasthan as 22 Test Positive

Agency, 9 October : A total of 22 people have tested positive for the Zika virus in Rajasthan’s Jaipur, prompting the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to seek a detailed report from the health ministry on the outbreak of the disease.

A Bihar resident, who had visited his home in Siwan recently, was among those affected and the state has put the district administration on high alert to keep an eye on people who show similar symptoms.

Pankaj Chaurasia, 22, had come to Siwan on August 28 and developed a fever, which eventually subsided. He returned to Rajasthan on September 12 and afterwards visited friends in Patna as well. An official said, “The Zika virus has an incubation period of 3-12 days. It appears he contracted the virus in the time that was in Jaipur.”

A seven-member high-level central team is in Jaipur to assist the state government in control and containment measures, while a control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to undertake regular monitoring of the situation. The situation is being reviewed at the level of Union minister of health.

“Till date, a total of 22 positive laboratory confirmed cases have been detected. A control room has been activated at the NCDC to undertake regular monitoring of the situation,” the health ministry said on Monday.

All suspected cases in the defined area of Jaipur and mosquito samples from this area are being tested. Additional testing kits are provided to viral research and diagnostic laboratories. The state government has been supplied with information, education and communication (IEC) material prepared to create awareness about Zika virus and its prevention strategies.

All pregnant mothers in the area are being monitored through and extensive surveillance and vector-control measures are being taken up in the area as per protocol by the state government, the official said.

Zika virus disease is an emerging disease currently being reported by 86 countries worldwide. Symptoms of Zika virus disease are similar to other viral infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.

In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January and February 2017 and second outbreak in July 2017 from Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu. Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management, the ministry said.

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