In the wake of mounting cases of Zika virus in Jaipur where 29 people have been tested positive for the disease, the Health Ministry has appealed to people not to panic. The Ministry assured them that the Zika outbreak was under control.
Rajasthan’s Additional Chief Secretary, Medical, Health and Family Welfare, Veenu Gupta, said efforts are on to contain the spread of the virus.
“Zika cases have been detected due to our strong surveillance systems. Our surveillance is very robust and all such cases get detected. We have standard protocols, and in collaboration with the WHO, we follow them to see whether it is an isolated case or a collective case.
“The ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), National Centre for Disease Control and DGHS (Directorate General of Health Services) are monitoring the current situation continuously. I want to assure citizens of India that everything is under control and there is no need to panic,” Union Health Minister J P Nadda was quoted as saying by a prominent news agency.
Gupta said said several Health Department teams conducted household surveys in the affected Shastri Nagar area. Authorities carried out fogging, besides taking up other measures for the vector control.
The state officials said blood samples of 450 people, including 168 pregnant women, were taken for test, and 29 of them were tested positive for Zika virus in Jaipur.
As a precautionary measure, the state health department has directed medical colleges and chief medical and health officers to take necessary steps by making micro plans as per the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry to curb Zika virus spread, Gupta said.
In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January and February 2017 and second outbreak in July, 2017 from Krishnagiri District in Tamil Nadu.
Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management, the ministry said.
The disease continues to be on surveillance radars of the Union Health Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under WHO notification since November 18, 2016.
Symptoms of mosquito-borne Zika virus disease are similar to other viral infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.