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29 tested positive for Zika virus in Rajasthan

Tuesday October 9, 2018 5:34 PM, News Network

Zika Virus India

Jaipur (Rajasthan): Rajasthan Health Department on Tuesday confirmed that 29 people from the state gave tested positive for Zika virus.

The department said the first case of Zika Virus was reported on September 23, following which tests by the authorities established traces of the virus in the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes on September 26.

“Twenty nine people have so far tested positive for Zika virus. All the cases are from Jaipur’s Shahstri Nagar area. Around 450 samples have been sent for testing of which 160 are of pregnant ladies,” said Veenu Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health and Family Welfare Department, Rajasthan.

This the biggest ever outbreak of Zika virus in India.

Gupta added that among the 29 people tested positive, three are women, who were expecting children, and one gave birth on Monday night.

The Union Ministry of Health had on Monday said that the outbreak in Rajasthan was detected through the ICMR surveillance system.

"A 7-member high level Central team was deputed to Jaipur immediately following detection of first case to assist State Government in control and containment measures", the ministry said.

Zika virus 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/February 2017 and second outbreak in July, 2017 from Krishnagiri District in Tamilnadu. "Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management", the Union Healeth and Family Welfare Ministry said.

The disease continues to be on disease surveillance radars of Union Health Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern vide WHO notification since 18th November, 2016.

"The situation is being reviewed at the level of Union Minister of Health and monitored on a daily basis by the Secretary, Health. A high level Joint Monitoring Group of Technical Experts headed by DGHS has met twice to monitor the preparedness and response measures", the ministry said.

"Another High Level Central Team is already placed in Jaipur (since 5th October, 2018) to further oversee and assist containment operations on the field. A Control Room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to undertake regular monitoring of the situation", it added.

"All suspect cases in the defined area and mosquito samples from this area are being tested. Additional testing kits are provided to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories. The State Government has been supplied with IEC material prepared to create awareness about Zika virus disease and its prevention strategies", the ministry said.

"All pregnant mothers in the area are being monitored through NHM. Extensive surveillance and vector control measures are being taken up in the area as per protocol by the state government. The State Government has been supplied with IEC material prepared to create awareness about Zika Virus diseases and its prevention strategies", it said.

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