Tourist spots in State under watch for Zika

Namrata Devikar
Wednesday, 16 January 2019

“We regularly send samples for testing for Zika to the NIV as a precautionary measure. The samples belong to people, who already have a case history and especially pregnant women. In the last one-and-a-half months, we have sent around 350 samples to the NIV for testing. The tests have been negative. There have been no positive cases in Maharashtra so far,” said Dr Jagtap.

Pune: The State Health Department has formed a surveillance team to monitor all tourist spots where people from different states visit, with cases of Zika reported in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu last year.
 
Speaking to Sakal Times, State Entomologist Officer Dr Mahendra Jagtap said samples are sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) regularly to check for cases in the State. However, there has been none so far. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease is caused by the Zika virus transmitted primarily by ‘Aedes mosquitoes’, which bite during the day.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Jagtap said the surveillance is a precautionary need.

“We regularly send samples for testing for Zika to the NIV as a precautionary measure. The samples belong to people, who already have a case history and especially pregnant women. In the last one-and-a-half months, we have sent around 350 samples to the NIV for testing. The tests have been negative. There have been no positive cases in Maharashtra so far,” said Dr Jagtap.

He said the tourist spots are under surveillance as cases are on the rise in other states.

Last year, the Union Health Ministry reported over 153 cases of Zika from Rajasthan in October and November. Gujarat, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh also reported some cases.

Dr Pradip Awate, State Surveillance Officer of the State Health Department, told Sakal Times that Zika is also a vector-borne disease.

“We already have vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria. The carrier is a mosquito. In the case of Zika as well, the carrier is mosquito. Hence, monitoring tourist places for breeding spots is important. The State health apparatus is doing that. Moreover, with high number of cases in other states, it is important to keep the surveillance up,” said Dr Awate.

What is Zika Virus?
According to WHO, Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by ‘Aedes mosquitoes’, which bite during the day

What are the common symptoms?
According to WHO, symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Symptoms typically last for two to seven days. Most people with Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms.

How can Zika virus affect a pregnant woman?
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome. Microcephaly is a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development. Infection with Zika virus is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage. According to WHO, an increased risk of neurologic complications is associated with Zika virus infection in adults and children, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis.
 

Related News