7 More Test Positive For Zika Virus In Jaipur, Including 3 Pregnant Women

| October 4 , 2018 , 14:16 IST

After the first case of Zika virus of this year was confirmed in the last week of September from Jaipur's Shastri Nagar, another 7 people have tested positive for the virus all from the Shastri Nagar area, out of which 3 infected are pregnant, media reported on Thursday.

The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits dengue and chikungunya. It has  been noted to have disastrous consequences for pregnant women, resulting in birth complications and higher risk of microcephaly in the infants,  which restricts the normal growth of the brain during gestation.

The health department has issued directions to make Zika virus test compulsory for all pregnant women having fever and belonging to the Shastri Nagar area. Health officials have identified 318 pregnant women in the Shastri Nagar area over the past 10 days and are keeping a close watch on them.

ALSO READ: Common Mosquito Can Carry Zika Virus: Brazilian Scientists

Dr C L Nawal, senior professor (medicine), SMS Hospital highlighted that while Zika is like any other fever, it is more dangerous when pregnant women are infected.

“Zika is just like any other fever. The doctors provide symptomatic treatment to such patients. But, if a pregnant woman is infected with Zika virus in first trimester, it is dangerous for the baby in the womb. In first trimester, the brain and spine of the baby gets developed. During this period, Zika virus infection is quite dangerous as it affects development of the brain of the baby,” he said.

Dr SM Sharma, acting principal and controller, SMS Medical College to Times of India said that the National Institute of Virology, Pune had confirmed the Zika cases.

“We had sent more than 20 samples of suspected Zika cases to National Institute of Virology, Pune. We have received reports of eight persons with confirmation that they were Zika positive, including the three pregnant women,” said Dr SM Sharma, acting principal and controller, SMS Medical College to Times of India.

He added that they are awaiting reports from Pune's NIV where 13 more people are suspected of having contracted Zika virus.