PM seeks report after 22 test positive for Zika virus in Jaipur, Bihar issues advisory
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the Union health ministry for a report on the localised outbreak of Zika after 22 people tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause birth defects in unborn babies, in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur.Updated: Oct 09, 2018 15:23 IST
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the Union health ministry for a report on the localised outbreak of Zika after 22 people tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause birth defects in unborn babies, in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur.
The Union health ministry, in a statement on Monday, confirmed the Zika cases in Jaipur so far through the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) surveillance system.
“A seven-member high-level central team was deputed to Jaipur immediately following the detection of the first case to assist the state government in control and containment measures. The situation is being reviewed at the level of Union ministry of health and monitored on a daily basis by the secretary, health,” Union health minister JP Nadda said in the statement.
The Centre’s expert team has been monitoring the situation and assisting in containment operations in Rajasthan since October 5.
“Our team is monitoring the situation closely and taking all possible steps to contain the infection. Even the pregnant women in the area are being monitored closely. So far, there is nothing to panic, and even the Bihar case had come from Jaipur,” said a senior health ministry official.
The official was referring to the person who has been affected by the virus and belongs to Siwan in Bihar. The Siwan resident, who studies in Jaipur, visited his home between August 28 and September 12 to appear for an examination. His family members have been put under surveillance.
Bihar has issued advisories to all its 38 districts to keep a close watch on people showing symptoms similar to Zika virus infection.
A joint monitoring group of technical experts headed by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has met twice to monitor the preparedness and response measures.
“A control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to undertake regular monitoring of the situation. All suspect cases are 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 statement added.
Extensive surveillance and mosquito control measures are also being taken up in the high-risk areas.
Zika is an emerging disease currently being reported by 86 countries across the world. Symptoms of the disease are similar to other viral infections such as dengue and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.
The first outbreak in India was reported in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad in January and February 2017 and the second in July 2017 from Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu. Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management.
The disease continues to be on the surveillance radar of the Union health ministry although it is no longer a public health emergency of international concern as per World Health Organization’s November 18, 2016, notification.
First Published: Oct 09, 2018 11:34 IST