6 new Zika cases in UP, Yogi holds high-level meet
Six more people tested positive for the Zika virus in Kanpur on Sunday, taking the tally to 10 in the district and prompting chief minister Yogi Adityanath to ask the health department to ensure strict surveillance to check the spread of the disease.
Instructing officials to increase the focus on controlling infectious diseases, he said frequent and extensive door-to-door sanitisation and fogging drives should be undertaken to stop the breeding of mosquitoes.
“People should be made aware of the preventive measures and must be encouraged to maintain cleanliness,” Adityanath said at a high-level meeting with senior officials in Lucknow on Sunday.
The tally has increased to 10 patients, confirmed Kanpur’s chief medical officer Nepal Singh.
All of the fresh cases are among civilians, unlike earlier when three of the four patients were Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel. One of the new patients is a pregnant woman, who has been put under round-the-clock observation.
The Kanpur chief medical officer said the area within a three-kilometre radius of a fever patient’s location would be screened. The patient would be monitored for a period of 14 days.
“We have increased the sampling and the area to a radius of three kilometres from the earlier two for our operations,” he said.
The Uttar Pradesh government will further intensify comprehensive surveillance and implement stringent containment curbs on the breeding of mosquitoes, said a state government press statement.
“Since the confirmation of the state’s first Zika virus case on October 22, the testing of samples at a large scale is being carried out to remove the risk of any further spread. So far, a total of 645 samples have been sent to KGMU. Of them, 253 samples have been collected from people with symptoms of fever, 103 samples are of pregnant women,” the statement said.
“Out of 507 samples tested, only nine people have tested positive for Zika virus while one patient had tested positive from the samples that were sent to NIV Pune. A total of 10 patients have been found infected with the Zika virus so far in Kanpur district of the state,” the statement added.
The health department teams have found Zika breeding larva in a park just across the street from one of the patients in Shyam Nagar, Kanpur. He had tested positive on Saturday along with two IAF personnel.
This patient is in the decoration business and has travelled several times since he started complaining of fever, said the health officials.
Additional director (health) GK Mishra said all necessary steps were being taken to contain the spread. Apart from the IAF station, the Pokharpur, Pardevanpurwa, Shyam Nagar, Tiwaripur, Om Purwa, Adarsh Nagar, Jagai Purwa localities and parts of Jajmau in Kanpur were being rigorously screened, he said.
“We have pointed out 117 mosquito breeding points in these localities and they all have been destroyed. Fifty Malaria control teams are constantly looking out for such points for source reduction,” said Singh.
But the regular anti-larva spray wasn’t effective on the mosquitoes, said a member of the malaria control team.
The health teams have found 70 people suffering from fever in Tiwaripur and nearby localities. All of them have been isolated in their houses, the officials said.
“People need to protect themselves from mosquitoes and destroy the source of their breeding in their houses,” the CMO said.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito named Aedes aegypti. According to the World Health Organization, the Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon or evening.
The health department has sent 84 more mosquito samples to the National Malaria Research Institute (NMRI), New Delhi, in special boxes. Scientists will genetically analyse these mosquitoes to determine the presence of the Zika virus in them and its lethality. Earlier, the reports of 34 mosquitoes caught in Pardevanpurwa and Pokharpur had been negative. These mosquitoes were netted inside the IAF station where the malaria control teams suspect the mosquitoes bred in the storage facility between two hangars. Chief medical officer Nepal Singh confirmed sending the mosquitoes to NMRI Delhi for a genetic study, which he said, was crucial.