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Zika toll rise to 106 in Rajasthan, ICMR team in Jaipur to intensify vector control measures

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Salka Pai | Updated on: 19 Oct 2018, 06:59:54 AM
Zika toll rise to 106 in Rajasthan, ICMR team in Jaipur to intensify vector control measures

New Delhi:

Six more people were confirmed positive for Zika virus in Rajasthan on Thursday, taking the total number of people infected to 106 in the state, a Union Health Ministry official said.

The current total number of affected people with the virus is said to be the largest Zika outbreak in the country.

According to official report, the six new Zika cases confirmed were from Jaipur and two neighbouring districts and of the total affected people, 25 are pregnant women.

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More than 1 lakh households have been surveyed in the densely populated Shastri Nagar and neighbouring areas and 324 teams have been engaged to destroy mosquito larvae found during the survey, state health department official said.

According to reports, the Zika virus is most prevalent in the Shastri Nagar area, where authorities have carried out fogging and other anti-larvae activities, while the pathogen has already been found in some mosquitoes taken as samples from Sindhi Camp area in Jaipur.

Meanwhile, in view of the rising case, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) team on Wednesday rushed to the state to accelerate measures to stop its spread.

A team of experts from ICMR has reached Jaipur to change the insecticides which are being used in the city and neighbouring districts to kill mosquitoes that spread Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses as a part of the integrated mosquito management programme, the official said.

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The Union Health Ministry on October 16 directed all the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor the situation on daily basis and urged people not to panic.

Sources at the state health department said almost all Zika virus infected patients are healthy after receiving treatment, while three-fourth patients do not have symptoms of disease and have recovered.

The state health department has also issued an advisory for pregnant women not to visit the affected areas as expecting mothers are more susceptible to this mosquito-borne virus.

It was on September 22, the first case had surfaced when an 85-year-old woman with no travel history tested positive for the disease in the state.

What is Zika virus?

# The virus is transmitted through the aedes aegypti mosquito. It causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain.

# It is harmful to pregnant women, as it can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, in newborn children.

# In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district in July that year.

# Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management, the ministry had said earlier.The disease continues to be under surveillance of the Union Health Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under WHO notification since November 18, 2016.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published : 18 Oct 2018, 09:15:07 PM