India’s Rajasthan hit hard by Zika virus

Henrietta Strickland
October 19, 2018

In pregnant women, Zika is related to birth of babies with a large head, a condition known as microcephaly.

The spread coincided with Rio de Janeiro hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, with several high profile athletes opting not to travel to Brazil out of concerns over Zika. Generally, the virus is not considered unsafe to anyone other than pregnant women. On Monday, 12 more persons were confirmed infected with Zika virus in the city, taking the toll of Zika positive patients to 72. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3-14 days. The WHO says these symptoms are treatable with pain and fever suppressants, rest and fluid intake.

How widespread is the Jaipur outbreak?

All cases that require hospitalisation shall be monitored intensively both at the district and state level so as to ensure that fatalities are avoided, the minister has stressed, while adding that availability of sufficient functional ventilators for critical case management is important and the states shall be advised accordingly.

As the number of zika virus cases in Jaipur, Rajasthan, rose to 80, the ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday convened a high-level meeting to review the prevention and control measures. At least 330 teams have already been deployed in affected wards of Shastri Nagar (Jaipur) and about 4,34,515 population has been brought under surveillance as of today.

"Over 280 teams of the health department are conducting the door-to-door survey and so far 96,000 houses have been surveyed".

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Zika virus outbreak in India is turning out to be worse in 2018, with 72 people being diagnosed with the infection, a senior health official said on Tuesday.

Although India has seen Zika virus cases since past year in episodes, this latest outbreak in Rajasthan is being seen as the largest outbreak.

Alarmed at the rising number of Zika cases, the Indian Health Ministry set up a control room at the National Centre for Disease Control to undertake regular monitoring of the situation in Rajasthan.

What should people do to protect themselves from the latest outbreak?

"Over 250 teams of the medical and health department are engaged in door to door screening of the affected areas in Rajasthan, especially in the capital Jaipur where most cases were detected". Other drives include spraying of pesticides, intensive fumigation and distribution of repellents and contraceptives. Because of the possibility of congenital abnormalities and sexual transmission, there is also focus on contraceptives.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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