Delhi government gets ready to tackle Zika virus sting
The Delhi government will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to take a stock of preparations to tackle the Zika virus.delhi Updated: Jan 31, 2016 09:46 IST
The Delhi government will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss strategies to combat the Zika virus. The move comes a day after the Centre issued a travel advisory warning against the spread of the virus in India.
The virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes that are active during day and is known to cause a mild illness called Zika fever.
The government, during its Monday meeting, is likely to map out the breeding grounds of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that also spreads dengue and chikunguniya. This map would be based on areas where the mosquitoes bred during the last dengue season when more than 15,000 people in Delhi contacted the vector-borne disease.
“After the meeting, the recommendations of the dengue task force will be implemented. The likelihood of people getting Zika is low at the moment. The mapping will also help us in controlling dengue and chikunguniya outbreaks,” an official said.
The government has plans to train doctors working in 33 government hospitals on ways to tackle Zika virus. “We will get a better idea of the measures that will be put in place after the meeting on Monday,” the official said. As of now, the government hospitals in Delhi have not been issued any advisory.
On Friday, Union health minister JP Nadda had convened an emergency meeting with his team of medical experts from across the country to discuss the prevention of Zika virus in India. Top researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research, including the director of Pune-based National Institute of Virology that is screening samples for Zika virus, were present at the meeting.
The Zika virus was first detected in 1947, and for decades has caused mild infections. However, it has worried experts this time given its adverse effect on foetuses, causing congenital deformities like microcephaly — a condition where babies are born with small heads causing development issues.