Doctors association issues Zika alert for India

Two more Indians have been infected with Zika virus in Singapore, health officials confirmed on Sunday. The Ministry of External Affairs had announced on Thursday that 13 Indians living and working in Singapore had tested positive for Zika.

Singapore has recorded more than 200 cases of Zika in the past week. Scientists are now of the opinion that the outbreak in Singapore is likely to have been caused by an Asian strain of the virus, not linked to the virus that is casing microcephaly in newborns in Brazil. Malaysia has also confirmed its first case of locally transmitted Zika. A 61-year-old man, who tested positive for Zika, died on Saturday afternoon from underlying heart-related complications. He had not traveled to any country where Zika had been reported – a clear indication that he had contracted the virus locally. Malaysia’s health authorities have warned of more infections in local communities.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association has issued a Zika alert in India asking physicians and the public to be vigilant and not ignore chikungunya-like symptoms with red eyes. India has already been struggling to fight other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya this monsoon season. The association has recommended that travellers to Singapore protect themselves from mosquito bites, that pregnant women avoid travel to the Singapore and that anyone who has a partner who lives in or has travelled to Singapore use condoms or abstain from sex during pregnancy.

CGHS centres to chip in to tackle dengue, chikungunya

The health ministry has directed Central Government Health Scheme clinics to provide consultations and primary out-patient care not only to government employees but also to the general public, particularly to people coming in with symptoms of dengue and chikungunya.

The health ministry has also written to all municipal corporations, the New Delhi Mnicipal Corporation and the Delhi government, asking them to publicise the preventive measures against the mosquito-borne diseases. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation had recorded 487 cases of dengue and 432 chikungunya cases were reported till August 27, according to news reports.

Illness from anti-cholera vaccine

Forty eight employees of a private food processing firm in Gujarat’s Kheda district fell ill after receiving anti-cholera vaccinations at an annual health camp organised by their employer.

Doctors at the Nadiad civil hospital where most of the sick were being treated said that the 48 had started complaining of nausea and vomiting immediately after the vaccinations. Four people who were seriously ill were referred to the Ahmedabad civil hospital while the others were being treated in Nadiad where their condition was reported to be stable.

Compensation for medical negligence

The Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay a compensation of Rs 28 lakh to the family of a woman who died in Nagercoil in 2011 after being given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen during surgery.

The 34-year-old woman had been admitted to the Government Nagercoil Medical College and Hospital for a tubectomy. She was administered nitrous oxide, which is also called laughing gas and sometimes used as sedative or anaesthetic in medicine and dentistry, instead of oxygen. Breathing nitrous oxide in high concentrations can reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood and so be dangerous and even fatal. The error in this case sent the woman into a vegetative state from which she never recovered.

The woman’s husband filed a petition in 2013 filed a petition seeking Rs 50 lakh in compensation. The judge of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court found that the hospital’s doctors and paramedical staff had been negligent and ordered the state health secretary to pay Rs 28 lakh compensation to the family petitioner within eight months.