As many as 18 people in Rajasthan’s Jaipur district have tested positive for the Zika virus, taking the total number of infected persons to 50, a Union Ministry of Health official said on Friday. At least 10 of the new cases were reported from Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar locality, according to PTI.
The Union government issued the figures after a review meeting headed by Rajasthan Health Department Additional Chief Secretary Veenu Gupta. At the meeting, measures taken to control the spread of the virus were discussed. The health department also asked pregnant women staying outside Shastri Nagar not to visit the area. As many as 11 pregnant women are among those infected, the Hindustan Times reported.
There will be a control room at the National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi to monitor the situation in Rajasthan, PTI reported. The number of Zika monitoring teams in Jaipur has been increased from 50 to 170, and an isolation ward created at the Hira Bagh Training Centre to treat patients.
The Centre has also provided the Rajasthan government with information, education and communication material to create awareness about the virus among the public.
“The number of cases is expected to increase for another week, but there has been no exponential increase in cases, like it happened in Brazil in 2015,” an unidentified Union Health Ministry official told the Hindustan Times. “Containment efforts over the next week will determine how the outbreak shapes up.”
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.