New Delhi The Union health ministry has sent a team of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control and emergency medical response wing of the directorate general of health services to Madhya Pradesh where three suspected cases of Zika virus have been detected. After initial sample testing at AIIMS Bhopal, samples have been sent for confirmation to National Institute of Virology, Pune. The cases were reported from Bhopal, Vidisha and Sehore. “These are all suspected cases, our team is there to investigate along with the state authorities. The course of action will be decided only after confirmation,” said a senior health ministry official.Jaipur has seen an outbreak, where 159 confirmed cases have been reported. “Jaipur is a popular tourist destination that sees visitors not just from India but abroad. At least 85 countries are Zika affected and in 80% of the cases people suffering from the infection are asymptomatic,” said an official.Zika virus, transmitted through the aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain. It is harmful to pregnant women, as it can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected, in newborn children. The first case this year was reported on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman tested positive for the virus in Jaipur. In India, the first local outbreak of Zika virus was reported in Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district in July last year.