Zika Virus Cases Rise To 100 In Rajasthan, Centre Sends Medical Team

| October 18 , 2018 , 09:18 IST

The number of confirmed cases of people infected with the Zika virus rose to 100 in Rajasthan on Wednesday, after which the Centre has sent a team of experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to intensify control measures. The Union Health Ministry has also directed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor the cases on a daily basis.

From the total affected cases, 23 are pregnant woman, a health ministry official in Delhi said, adding that the 20 new Zika cases were confirmed on Wednesday from Jaipur and 2 neighbouring districts.

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.

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To check the spread of the Zika virus, the ICMR team will be checking the insecticides used to control disease spreading mosquitoes.

"A team of experts from ICMR has reached Jaipur to change the insecticides which are being used in the city to kill mosquitoes that spread Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses as a part of the integrated mosquito management programme," the health ministry official said.

After the first case of Zika virus of this year was confirmed in the last week of September from Jaipur's Shastri Nagar, the health department issued directions to make Zika virus test compulsory for all pregnant women having fever.

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"Almost all Zika virus infected patients are healthy after treatment. Three-fourth patients do not have symptoms of disease and have recovered," a state health department official said.

Majority of the Zika virus cases have been reported from the Shastri Nagar area where fogging and other anti-mosquito activities are being carried out. More than 1 lakh households have been surveyed in Shastri Nagar and neighbouring areas and 330 targeted teams have been set up to destroy mosquito larvae found during the survey.

Although the Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the World Health Organisation (WHO) notification since November 18, 2016, it is under surveillance of the Union Health Ministry.