At least 89 people, including 17 children, have tested positive for Zika virus in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur city, Reuters reported on Monday, citing the state’s health department.
“There has been a surge in cases of the Zika virus and the health department has formed several teams to contain the spread,” said Dr Nepal Singh, chief medical officer of Kanpur district. “There is one woman who is pregnant and we are paying special attention towards her.”
He added that the government was eliminating the mosquito breeding grounds in the district that spread the virus.
The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by the Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day, according to the World Health Organization. It can also be sexually transmitted. Symptoms of the infection include fever, rashes, headache and joint pain.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (health) Amit Mohan Prasad on Monday said that more people were testing positive for the virus because the authorities were examining a large number of citizens who had come in contact with the patients, Reuters reported.
“All positive cases are being visited by health department teams at their homes and their vitals are being monitored on a daily basis,” said District Magistrate of Kanpur Vishakh G, NDTV reported. “A Zika control room has also been put in place, which is interacting with the patients daily. We appeal to everyone not to have stagnant water in their homes and to use mosquito nets.”
The Indian Air Force station in Kanpur’s Chakeri area has been the epicentre of the Zika outbreak after an officer had tested positive for the virus on October 23, the Hindustan Times reported. Kanpur’s Chief Medical Officer Nepal Singh said that all the new cases were found in this area.
“We are getting fogging done in the area,” said Wing Commander RK Shukla. “This health team has also been visiting for the past two days.”