Zika virus found in mosquitoes from Shastri Nagar in Jaipur, number of cases rises to 32

Dr Neena Valecha, director of National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), said the virus appears to be locally transmitted.

Published: 10th October 2018 10:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2018 10:07 PM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: Zika virus has been found in some mosquitoes taken as samples from Shastri Nagar in Jaipur, leading to suspicion they are behind the infection, experts said Wednesday, as the number of Zika patients in the area rose to 32.

Dr Neena Valecha, director of National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), said the virus appears to be locally transmitted.

A NIMR team has visited the colony from where cases were reported and has given its report to the health ministry.

At least 32 people, including three pregnant women, have tested positive for Zika in Jaipur and the health ministry has said the outbreak was under control.

The Zika virus, transmitted through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain.

It is harmful to pregnant women, as it can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, in newborn children.

In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second was reported in July that year from Krishnagiri District in Tamil Nadu.

Rajasthan officials have said blood samples of 450 people, including 168 pregnant women, were taken for tests, and 29 of them tested positive for Zika virus during the recent outbreak.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Monday sought a comprehensive report from the Health Ministry on the outbreak.

A seven-member high-level central team is in Jaipur to assist the state government and a control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control for monitoring of the situation, according to the health ministry.

As one of those affected in Jaipur hailed from Bihar and visited his Siwan home recently, the eastern state has issued advisories to all its 38 districts to keep a close watch on people showing symptoms similar to Zika virus infection.

The state government has been supplied with information, education and communication (IEC) material prepared to create awareness about Zika virus and its prevention strategies, the ministry said.

The number of monitoring team has been increased from 50 to 170 and a special isolation ward has been created at Hira Bagh Training Centre, according to a state government release.

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