Private hospitals in Pune to test fever patients, expecting mothers for Zika - Hindustan Times
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Private hospitals in Pune to test fever patients, expecting mothers for Zika

ByVicky Pathare
Jul 04, 2024 10:53 PM IST

Till July 4, Pune city has reported seven Zika virus cases, the highest in the state, including two pregnant women

As a large number of citizens and expecting mothers avail treatment at private facilities, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to team up with them to counter the Zika virus threat.

As per officials, on Thursday, 16 samples of suspected patients were sent to NIV for testing for the virus infection. Out of these 16 samples, 9 samples are of pregnant women from the Mundhwa area and three from the Kothrud area. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
As per officials, on Thursday, 16 samples of suspected patients were sent to NIV for testing for the virus infection. Out of these 16 samples, 9 samples are of pregnant women from the Mundhwa area and three from the Kothrud area. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Till July 4, Pune city has reported seven Zika virus cases, the highest in the state, including two pregnant women.

Prithviraj BP, additional municipal commissioner of PMC, held a meeting with the health department on Saturday. The health officials have been directed to conduct a meeting with all private hospitals, private doctors, practising obstetricians and gynaecologists to step up testing and surveillance for the Zika virus.

Dr Kalpana Baliwant, health officer of PMC, said, as per the directions of the additional municipal commissioner, a meeting will be held on Monday with all big private hospitals, general practitioners, Indian Medical Association and Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI).

“All big hospitals will be asked to direct their obstetricians and gynaecologists to monitor the pregnant women visiting their hospitals. The samples of suspected pregnant women should be sent for testing Zika virus infection to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune,” she said.

As per officials, on Thursday, 16 samples of suspected patients were sent to NIV for testing for the virus infection. Out of these 16 samples, 9 samples are of pregnant women from the Mundhwa area and three from the Kothrud area. The reports of 13 samples sent to NIV on Wednesday are awaited, they said.

“The fever patients should be closely monitored and suspected patients should be tested for the virus infection. Also, they will be requested to report us Zika-positive patients on priority,” said Dr Baliwant.

PMC has received reports of three patients who have tested positive for Zika Virus infection as per reports of a private laboratory. Out of these three cases, two cases were reported on Thursday which include—a 68-year-old male from Kothrud and a 65-year-old male from Saswad. A 62-year-old woman from Prabhat Road tested positive as per private lab reports on July 1.

Dr Rajesh Dighe, assistant health officer of PMC, informed the focus is currently on pregnant women. “The Zika-positive cases from private laboratories are considered as suspected cases. The containment activities and surveillance have been started in these areas even though the cases are considered suspected cases. The details of the 65-year-old patient from Saswad have been sent to the district health office as it is outside PMC limits,” he said.

As per officials, the Zika virus can be transmitted by mosquito bites, sexual contact, mother-to-fetus during pregnancy, blood transfusion and organ donation. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other congenital malformations in the infant, including limb contractures, high muscle tone, eye abnormalities and hearing loss. These clinical features are collectively referred to as congenital Zika syndrome. It can also cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome in the fetus.

Dr Nagnath Yempalay, district civil surgeon, stated that the public health department has issued a high alert for the entire district following reported cases of Zika Virus in Pune city.

“I have issued orders to officials at Aundh District Hospital, 24 rural hospitals, 5 sub-district hospitals, and one women’s hospital to monitor fever patients and pregnant women. Samples from all suspected patients will be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Also, ten beds have been kept reserved for Zika patients at the district hospital,” he said. 

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