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Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019

Rajasthan health department on toes after first zika case reported

The state health department has swung into action after the first case of Zika virus was reported at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur.

jaipur Updated: Sep 24, 2018 05:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rapid Response team members during inspection at a house in Shastri Nagar in Jaipur.
Rapid Response team members during inspection at a house in Shastri Nagar in Jaipur.(HT Photo)
         

The state health department has swung into action after the first case of Zika virus was reported at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur.

“After getting the information of a patient, Shakuntala Devi (85), resident of Shastri Nagar in Jaipur, found positive for Zika virus infection, the rapid response team visited the affected area on Saturday,” said Dr VK Mathur, the director of public health, on Sunday.

He said the team interviewed the patient — who has now recovered from the infection and discharged from the SMS hospital — and found that the patient did not travel anywhere and no one from the affected state or country had visited her place.

Dr Mathur said the team visited 40 houses and found two pregnant women and two others suffering from fever. “The samples of these four persons were collected on Sunday morning and sent to SMS hospital for further investigation,” he added.

The official said that “high density of larvae” was found near the patient’s house during a survey, following which fogging was done in the area. On Sunday, a survey for patients suffering from fever is being done up to 3kms around the patient’s house, he added.

Dr Mathur said that Devi was suffering from fever for past few days and had complaints of joint pain, redness of eyes, weakness and body ache. The patient also had altered sensorium. She was admitted to the SMS hospital on September 11 after she was diagnosed for neurological disorder.

The samples collected from the patient on September 15 and tests done at the hospital revealed presence of zika virus in the serum and urine, following which the hospital sent the samples to the National Institute of Virology, Indian Council of Medical Research, Pune, for further tests. A letter sent from the NIV on September 21 confirmed presence of zika virus genome in Devi’s serum, urine and ribonucleic acid (RNA) extract of serum, he said.

Dr Mathur said a meeting is called on Monday, which will be chaired by health minister Kali Charan Saraf and health department additional chief secretary Veenu Gupta. In the meeting, situation of zika virus and other seasonal diseases will be reviewed,, he said, adding that apart from the medical and health department, medical education department, Jaipur Municipal Corporation and animal husbandry department officials will be attending the meeting.

About the virus

Dr Sunil Singh, joint director (rural health) said that biting by infected aedes mosquito transmits zika virus.

Aedes is same mosquito that spread dengue and chikungunya. Malaria causing mosquitoes bite in night, dengue causing mosquitoes bite in morning, but mosquitoes spreading zika virus bite during the day and night.

He said zika virus can infect foetus of pregnant woman and can cause certain birth defects to the baby. Zika infected person can pass the virus through sex to his/her partner.

First Published: Sep 24, 2018 05:25 IST