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Jaipur faces India’s biggest Zika virus outbreak ever as number of infected cases rise

Medical teams have taken steps to contain the further spread of Zika and all areas near Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar are being observed.

Number of Zika virus cases in Rajasthan’s Jaipur has risen to 50 and the development has ringed alarm bells in India’s Medical fraternity and public health circle. It is now the biggest outbreak of Zika virus in India, ever. Experts say that containing breeding of its vector mosquitoes is critical to halting its further spread. No terminal case has been reported so far.

The incubation period of Zika virus is one week and hence more cases are expected. Results of the containment measures will only be known after a week or so. All the students of Rajput Hostel, in the Sindhi camp area, are quarantined after three of them tested positive for Zika virus.

Zika virus cases have also been reported in 11 pregnant women. Zika virus affects unborn children the most as it causes microcephaly in them. In microcephaly, a birth defect, the infant’s head becomes smaller which leads to abnormality in bran’s development.

On September 21, an 85-year-old woman, with no travel history, was the first one to test positive. But the health ministry suspects the outbreak of Zika virus in Jaipur was started by a tourist who had this infection.

Jaipur’s Rajput Hostel is found to be infested with infested Aedes Aaegypti mosquitoes, the vector of Zika virus, and to control it there is a big challenge. The same mosquito also spreads dengue and chikungunya. The hostel is close to the city’s main bus stand and there are several hotels and other accommodations nearby, it is imperative to control Aedes there.

86 countries have reported Zika cases so far. Its biggest outbreak was in Brazil in 2015. In India, it was first reported in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad in 2017.  Rash, joint and muscle pain, and high fever are the symptoms of Zika infection. Apart from it, one may also experience headache and conjunctivitis. But the majority of people who suffer from this infection experience no symptoms at all, or mild symptoms. The disease has not caused death or severe level of disease but it is too risky for pregnant women. It has no vaccine yet and is treated by generic methods.

Medical teams have taken steps to contain the further spread of Zika and all areas near Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar are being observed. 250 teams are deployed and they are going to each home where people are reporting fever, checking pregnant women and are testing samples. Measures are also being taken to control the spread of Aedes larvae.

A Zika virus case is also reported from Bihar.

Source: Financial Express