As Zika virus spreads in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka step up vigil
The cases of Zika virus were reported three days ago and has now climbed to 15 in Kerala. The state government has formulated as action plan to check the spread of zika virus disease. The Centre too has rushed a team of experts to the southern state.
Tamil Nadu has intensified checking at its border with Kerala after cases of Zika virus emerged in the southern state. Tight vigil is being maintained at 14 strategic points and checkposts at Walayar and Meenakshipuram, and vehicle checking intensified, news agency PTI reported quoting Tamil Nadu government officials.
e-pass has been made mandatory for people going from Kerala to Tamil Nadu, PTI further reported.
Kerala has so far reported 15 cases of Zika virus, with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying that his government will strengthen vector control units at the district and state level.
Here are the latest on the spread of the Zika virus:
- The cases of the vector-borne disease was detected three days ago. While 14 cases were confirmed on Thursday, one more was reported on Saturday. All the cases are from Thiruvananthapuram district.
- The central government has sent a team of experts to Kerala after the outbreak was reported. According to joint secretary (health ministry) Lav Agarwal, the six-member team includes vector-borne disease experts and doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
- The Kerala government has formulated an action plan to manage the number of Zika virus infections, and the state's health minister Veena George said that the situation is closely monitored.
- The districts in Karnataka, which border Kerala, have been asked to step up the vigil. The Karnataka health department has also instructed officials to intensify vector control measures in the state.
- The Aedes aegypti variety of the mosquito, which is a vector of Dengue, Chikungunya as well as Zika, is prevalent in Karnataka leading to the need to increased surveillance in the rural areas.
- The urban areas too will undergo surveillance every fortnight on a war footing, the state government said.
- The travel history of those arriving in Karnataka will be checked to and the samples collected from suspected cases should be sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Bengaluru for testing.
- The Zika Virus Disease (ZVD) presents with symptoms like fever, rashes, conjunctivitis and joint pain. However, few people die from ZVD and only one in five develops symptoms.
- The symptoms of the disease were first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947 and the first human case came from Nigeria in 1954.
It leads to shrunken brain in children and a rare auto-immune disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome.