The state health department has issued guidelines to the district health department stating the precautions and measures to be taken to avoid zika virus, which is rapidly spreading across the globe.
According to the district malaria officer, an extensive campaign has been going on in the city since February 1 to eliminate the breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for spreading the zika virus.
“Surveys are being conducted all over the city to check mosquito breeding and the areas found positive for breeding are being cleaned. Zika virus is dangerous and hence extra precautions are being taken to prevent it,” said GR Mishra, district malaria officer, Ghaziabad.
He said that the health department is taking special care to protect government hospitals and offices by conducting regular fogging drives in the vicinity.
“While the employees of the health department are personally making sure that there are no mosquito breeding sites in the government offices, we have also issued circulars to hospitals and schools across the city to make sure that no vacant sites are left unattended, to curb mosquito breeding,” Mishra said.
He said that since the virus is not prevalent in the country at present, the government is taking preventive measures to avoid the disease in the first place.
“The health department will also put up posters and advertisements across the city to create awareness regarding the virus among residents. The precautions and measures to be taken to prevent zika is the same as that for dengue and malaria,” said Mishra.
According to doctors, the symptoms of zika virus are generally mild and may even go unnoticed.
“The mosquito responsible for spreading zika is also responsible for transmitting dengue and chikungunya. Areas experiencing drought or water shortage, where people tend to store water, could be a breeding ground for these mosquitoes. There is no cure for the virus at present, thereby making it more dangerous,” said Dr Vinay Bhat, consultant of internal medicine at the Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad.