The Centre has constituted a seven-member high level committee to seek a detailed report on the outbreak of Zika virus disease in Jaipur from where 29 cases have been reported so far, reported PTI. It said the situation was being monitored regularly.
The Zika virus is mainly transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, including Aedes aegypti that carries dengue. Most people infected with Zika will show no symptoms or will have only mild symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis and, possibly, muscle pain and headaches that may last for several days to a week.
In September, Rajasthan had recorded its first case of Zika virus infection after a woman tested positive in Jaipur. A Bihar resident studying in Jaipur was also tested positive for the virus on Sunday. The Bihar government has also issued advisories to all its 38 districts after the student visited his home in Siwan between August 28 and September 12. At least seven people infected with the virus live in the same neighbourhood, according to NDTV.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the current outbreak was detected through the Indian Council of Medical Research surveillance system. The team has been deputed to Jaipur to assist the Rajasthan government for control and containment of the virus, the ministry said.
“The situation is being reviewed at the level of Union Minister of Health and monitored on a daily basis by the secretary, health,” the ministry said in a statement. An expert team has been monitoring the situation and helping in containment operations since October 5, the ministry added. “A Control Room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control to undertake regular monitoring of the situation,” the ministry said.
“Our surveillance is very robust,” NDTV quoted Union Health Minister JP Nadda as saying. “All such cases get detected. We’ve standard protocols.” Nadda said the Indian Council of Medical Research, the National Centre for Disease Control and the Directorate General of Health Services are monitoring the cases. “There’s no need to panic.”
Testing kits have been provided to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories. The state government has been supplied with information, education and communication material to promote awareness about the virus and preventing strategies. “All pregnant mothers in the area are being monitored through NHM [National Health Mission]. Extensive surveillance and vector control measures are being taken up in the area as per protocol by the state government,” the ministry added.
At least 179 medical teams have been deployed in six wards of Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar area, where several cases have been detected.
The ministry said the Zika virus was on its disease surveillance radars, although it was not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on World Health Organisation since November 18, 2016.