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Kerala reports first Zika virus case in pregnant woman, statewide alert declared

Thirteen samples out of 19 taken from different parts of the state are suspected to be Zika positive, though official confirmation is yet to arrive.

Published: 08th July 2021 06:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2021 12:07 PM   |  A+A-

Zika Virus

For representational purposes (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has been put on alert after the first incident of the Zika virus was found in a pregnant woman in Thiruvananthapuram. The National Institute of Virology in Pune confirmed the infection on Thursday.

Thirteen samples out of 19 taken from different parts of the state are suspected to be Zika positive, though official confirmation is yet to arrive. The health minister Veena George directed all district health officers to be alert on the new-found infection that spreads through mosquito bites.

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The first detected patient is a 24-year-old woman from Parassala. She was admitted with symptoms such as fever, headache and rashes on June 28. She was found mildly positive for the RT-PCR test and her samples were sent to the NIV for confirming Zika.

A statement from the health department said the patient’s health condition was satisfactory and she had a normal delivery on July 7. She did not have a travel history. But it was found that her house is near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Her mother also had similar symptoms a week ago.

READ HERE: Zika virus explained: How is it spread & why pregnant women should take extra caution?

The district surveillance team, district vector control unit and state epidemiology team visited the locality in Parassala and took measures to prevent the infection. It included collecting samples of Aedes mosquitos, responsible for spreading dengue, chikungunya and Zika fever, and sending them for PCR tests.

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