India reports 80 Zika cases, 22 pregnant women

Zika Cases Rise To 80 In Rajasthan Centre Asks NCDC To Monitor Cases On Daily Basis

Zika Cases Rise To 80 In Rajasthan Centre Asks NCDC To Monitor Cases On Daily Basis

On May 26 past year, the WHO issued a report that said: "On 15 May 2017, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-Government of India (MoHFW) reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat State, India".

Health Minister J P Nadda chaired a high-level meeting to review the activities for prevention and control of Zika virus and stressed the need to undertake exhaustive control measures, including fogging, while strengthening surveillance to facilitate early detection of cases. The government said 330 teams have been deployed and checked 4.34 lakh people and over 2.04 lakh breeding sites, of which over 74,000 were found to have mosquito larvae. At least 86,903 houses have been surveyed.

The Health Ministry said efforts to control the mosquitoes that spread Zika would continue as would assistance to affected families. "All suspect cases in the defined area and mosquito samples from this area are being tested".

The outbreak surfaced in Rajasthan a month ago, and since then the cases have only increased. The Union Health Minister urged the people to not panic and cooperate with the health officials in controlling the breeding of the vectors.

There was no shortage of medicines and testing kits, he assured.

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The virus transmitted from the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. The cell structure of Zika virus is similar to dengue and chikungunya, making it hard to differentiate. The virus can cause birth defects in newborns called microcephaly - a condition defined by small heads and brain damage, sometimes along with other abnormalities such as blindness, deafness, seizures and other congenital disabilities.

Nadda emphasised the need for continuous monitoring. Secretary (Health) is monitoring the situation on a daily basis in regular coordination with the State Health Secretary.

"India's additional secretary (health) Sanjeeva Kumar Monday held a video conferencing with top health officials of all states and asked them to curb mosquito breeding and also intensify vector control strategies to contain Zika outbreak", another health official said.

He further directed for mounting aggressive communication campaigns in the state. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that women who are pregnant should not travel to India and sexual partners of pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should take preventative measures to limit exposure.

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