Health ministry confirms 22 Zika cases in Rajasthan

Health Ministry officials said that suspected cases and mosquito samples in the defined area are being tested

Seven people were tested positive for Zika virus in Rajasthan's Jaipur following which the Prime Minister's Office sought a detailed report from the Union Health Ministry.

"The central surveillance unit of the ministry of health and family welfare notified us today about the Zika-positive patient who had visited Bihar", State Health Society Epidemiologist Dr Ragini Mishra said on Sunday. However, she added that as one of the family members is pregnant, the whole family will be kept under surveillance for 26 days.

Nearly a year after the Zika virus was detected in patients in India, a total of 22 people have been tested positive of Zika virus in Rajasthan's Jaipur.

"There has been additional fogging and the person has been kept under home-based isolation and extreme care is being taken that he is not bitten by mosquitoes", said a senior health ministry official on condition of anonymity.

A control room has been set up at the NCDC to undertake regular monitoring of the situation.

The first detected case came was from Jaipur's Shastri Nagar area where medical teams have been deployed.

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Apart from Rajasthan, a report by TOI stated that Bihar authorities have also issued advisories to all the district health authorities to monitor the situation. the alert in Bihar was sounded after it was found that out of the 22 people, 1 was a Bihar native who had recently visited the state.

"They have been told to send all such samples to the viral research and diagnostic laboratories for confirmatory tests of rare virus strains like Zika", she added. The state government has been supplied with IEC material prepared to create awareness about Zika virus disease and its prevention strategies.

Zika virus disease is an emerging disease now being reported by 86 countries worldwide.

Symptoms of 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.

The disease continues to be on disease surveillance radars of Union Health Ministry although it is no longer a public health emergency since November, 2016, according to a World Health Organisation notification.

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