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Zika outbreak: Madhya Pradesh records three patients

The central team comprising of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Emergency Medical Response (EMR) are in the state following information about three persons being detected with Zika virus, a Health Ministry official said.


Zika outbreak: Madhya Pradesh records three patients
During the latest outbreak of the virus in the country, the first case surfaced on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman with no recent travel history tested positive for the virus in Jaipur. Since then, the number of Zika cases has risen to 153 in Rajasthan. (Image Credit: Twitter)

Three persons, including a seven-month-old child, have tested positive for Zika in Madhya Pradesh, a central expert team, which had gone to the state Thursday to assess the cases, has confirmed.

The central team comprising of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Emergency Medical Response (EMR) are in the state following information about three persons being detected with Zika virus, a Health Ministry official said.

The seven-month-old child was found positive in Sehore district and a 14-year-old girl in Char Imli locality in Bhopal. The details about the third person were not immediately available, he said.

"Because the symptoms of Zika infection are similar to that of dengue and spreads through mosquito bites, it raises concerns," the official said.

The central expert team is assisting the Madhya Pradesh government to replicate the measures and action plan, implemented in Jaipur and Ahmedabad, in the state to contain the Zika outbreak, he said.

The official said the state health department has been asked to keep a close watch on people suffering from symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease.

Meanwhile, an intensive screening exercise is being undertaken and vector control measures have been intensified at Ahmedabad after the first case of the mosquito-borne disease was detected this year in Gujarat.

Also, an advisory has been issued to district administrations to take measures to check mosquito breeding.

The state health department has advised pregnant women not to visit the affected areas.

Zika virus, transmitted through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, 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.

During the latest outbreak of the virus in the country, the first case surfaced on September 22, when an 85-year-old woman with no recent travel history tested positive for the virus in Jaipur. Since then, the number of Zika cases has risen to 153 in Rajasthan.

In India, the first outbreak of Zika virus 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 disease is under surveillance of the Union Health Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the WHO notification since November 18, 2016.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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