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Now Zika virus detected in Gujarat, officials say taking all precautions

Health authorities in Gujarat said a woman tested positive for Zika and was treated at a state hospital in the capital Ahmedabad, the first confirmed case outside Rajasthan this year.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2018 06:53 IST
Zika,Gujarat,Rajasthan
Health authorities in Rajasthan have detected 147 cases of Zika since September, officials say. Almost 4,40,000 people were under surveillance in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur last month.(Picture for representation)

India’s Zika outbreak is spreading, with officials saying on Sunday that the mosquito-borne virus has been detected in Gujarat after nearly 144 cases were reported this year in neighbouring Rajasthan.

Health authorities in Gujarat said a woman tested positive for Zika and was treated at a state hospital in the capital Ahmedabad, the first confirmed case outside Rajasthan this year. “Only one case has been found so far. We are taking all precautions,” Gujarat commissioner of health Jayanti Ravi told AFP on Sunday.

The state health department has rallied hundreds of doctors and medical personnel to perform emergency screenings for Zika, including more than 250 pregnant women with fevers. Gujarat, which borders Rajasthan to the south, has been fumigating public areas in an effort to kill the mosquitos that carry the diseases.

Health authorities in Rajasthan have detected 144 cases of Zika since September, officials say. Almost 4,40,000 people were under surveillance in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur last month. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries Zika and other viruses like dengue fever, is widely prevalent in the country.

India reported its first Zika cases in January 2017 in Gujarat but the latest case is the first in the state this year. Since Zika erupted on a large scale in 2015, more than 1.5 million people in more than 70 countries have been infected, with most in South America.

In rare cases, if pregnant women contract the virus their babies can develop brain defects. Zika was also detected in Tamil Nadu in July 2017. The World Health Organization has said no vaccine is likely to be available for the disease until 2020.

First Published: Oct 28, 2018 19:08 IST