Zika virus found in mosquito samples, Karnataka health dept on alert | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Zika virus found in mosquito samples, Karnataka health dept on alert

By, Bengaluru
Nov 03, 2023 06:56 AM IST

This mosquito carrying the Zika virus was among various samples collected during a statewide campaign, and the results confirming the presence of the virus were received on October 25

The state health department has issued an alert after mosquito samples in Talakayalabetta village in Chikkaballapura were found to be infected with Zika virus. The samples were collected from Talakayalabetta area, around 60 km from Bengaluru, in August. As a precautionary measure, an extensive analysis of fever cases in the area is underway, officials familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Zika virus was initially found in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, following the examination of samples from six different water bodies in Chikkaballapura in late August. (AP)
The Zika virus was initially found in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, following the examination of samples from six different water bodies in Chikkaballapura in late August. (AP)

Health authorities have sent blood samples from individuals with high fever to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for testing. The Zika virus was initially found in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, following the examination of samples from six different water bodies in Chikkaballapura in late August.

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Dr S Mahesh, district health officer said that samples were collected from across the state, of which, six were from Chikkaballapura, five tested negative, and one was found positive. “In total, 100 samples were collected across the state, with six originating from Chikkaballapura, and only one tested positive,” he said.

This mosquito carrying the Zika virus was among various samples collected during a statewide campaign, and the results confirming the presence of the virus were received on October 25.

The health department however clarified that while the Zika virus has been detected in mosquito samples from Talakayalabetta, no cases have been reported in humans as of now. However, as a preventive measure, authorities issued an alert within a five-kilometre radius of the affected area to contain the breeding of mosquitoes.

State health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao reassured the public that no individuals have tested positive for the Zika virus. “The virus has been detected in a mosquito pool. This report came 10 days ago. Don’t be afraid of Zika virus. We will be monitoring the situation. A few people were showing some symptoms of fever and rashes. They have been kept in the hospital and checked. Their samples have been sent for further examination. Some of them have also been discharged from the hospital. They are okay,” he said.

“We are taking preventive measures. Our people are on the job. The only precaution we need to take is on pregnant women, where it might affect the child. So far, nothing of that sort is reported. I request people not to panic. Our department is fully looking into it. Hopefully, there will be no outbreak of it anywhere,” he added.

The state health department remains on alert following the Zika virus detection in mosquitoes within the Chikkaballapura district. Health authorities have conducted special meetings to develop clear strategies to address the situation proactively.

Additionally, blood samples from pregnant women and individuals displaying fever symptoms have been collected from villages within a five-kilometre radius of Talakayalabetta village and sent for testing in Bengaluru.

Last year, a five-year-old girl from Karnataka was confirmed to be infected with the Zika virus.

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