Zika virus cases in Rajasthan rise to 51

Zika virus cases in Rajasthan rise to 51
Fresh mosquito samples from various parts of Jaipur were collected by a team from the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) as the number of Zika patients in the Rajasthan capital rose to 51.

Of the 50 patients tested positive for the Zika virus, 11 are pregnant women, sources in the Ministry of Health said, adding that after the Shastri Nagar area, three students at the Rajput Hostel in neighboring Sindhi Camp tested positive.

The Zika virus has been found in some mosquitoes taken as samples from Sindhi Camp, while only a few mosquitoes have been found from the densely populated Shastri Nagar as carriers of the virus, suggesting that they are behind the spread of the infection.

The first case surfaced on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman without a travel history was tested positive for the disease.

In the Shastri Nagar area, fogging and other anti-larval activities are carried out to prevent the spread of the virus.

Earlier, a public health official said that 30 of the cases went well after treatment.

A meeting on Friday discussed measures to curb the situation. The department has also issued counseling for pregnant women outside Shastri Nagar so as not to visit the area.

A control room was activated at the National Center for Disease Control to monitor the situation.

The number of surveillance teams in Jaipur has been increased from 50 to 170, and a special isolation unit has been set up at the Hira Bagh Training Center to treat Zika virus patients.

The Government of Rajasthan has been provided with information, education and communication (IEC) to raise awareness of the Zika virus and prevention strategies.

The virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito causes fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. It is harmful to pregnant women because it can lead to microcephaly in newborns, a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected.

In India, the first outbreak was reported in January 2017 in Ahmedabad and the second outbreak in July in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district. Both outbreaks were successfully contained by intensive surveillance and vector management, the ministry had previously said.

The disease continues to be monitored by the Union's Ministry of Health, although it is no longer under the WHO notification since 18 November 2016.


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