Jaipur Zika virus outbreak? 22 test positive, PMO wants report
Since an elderly woman from Jaipur tested positive for the Zika virus in late-September, 21 others have tested positive for the virus in Jaipur, prompting the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to seek a detailed report from the Union Health Ministry.
Notably, seven of the 21 people infected in Jaipur live in the same neighborhood.
Meanwhile, Bihar is on alert.
Here are the details.
The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first discovered in Uganda in 1947. Of late, it has been reported in 86 countries. However, in November 2016, the World Health Organization declared that it was no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Authorities are taking efforts to contain the supposed outbreak
Following the confirmation by the National Institute of Virology in Pune that 22 people had been infected with the Zika virus, Jaipur started a mass drive to contain the infection.
Over 6,000 households have been surveyed, and over 2,000 containers have been sprayed with chemicals to kill mosquitoes.
Fogging and spraying operations to kill mosquitoes is also underway.
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179 medical teams working in Zika virus outbreak neighborhood
Additionally, medical teams have been deployed in Jaipur's Shastri Nagar area from where seven Zika virus cases were reported. Currently, 179 medical teams are working in six wards in the neighborhood.
Centre has taken steps to assist Rajasthan, monitor the situation
Meanwhile, with the Prime Minister's Office seeking a report on the situation in Jaipur, a seven-member high-level team from the Union Health Ministry has been dispatched to Jaipur to take stock of the situation and assist the state government's containment efforts.
Additionally, a control room has also been set up at the National Centre for Disease Control to monitor the situation.
What are the symptoms of a Zika virus infection?
Zika virus symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Most people don't even experience symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with malformations, something known as congenital Zika syndrome.
Bihar has issued an advisory to all 38 districts
Following the supposed 'outbreak' in Jaipur, the Bihar government also issued an advisory for all of the state's 38 districts.
The advisory was released keeping in mind that one of the infected in Jaipur, a student from Bihar, had visited his home in Siwan in August.
The student was home between August 28 and September 12. His family is under surveillance.
India saw two Zika virus outbreaks earlier, both were contained
The first Zika virus outbreak in India was reported in Ahmedabad in January and February 2017. The second outbreak was reported from the Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu in July 2017. However, both were successfully contained through vector management and intensive surveillance.