29 tested positive for Zika virus: No need to panic over Zika outbreak in Jaipur, assures Union health minister JP Nadda

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the Union health ministry for a report on the Zika outbreak after 29 people tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause birth defects in unborn babies, in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur

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Jaipur/New Delhi: As many as 29 persons, including three pregnant women, have been tested positive for Zika virus in Shastri Nagar locality of Jaipur so far, an official said Tuesday.

Despite an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus disease (ZVD) in Rajasthan, Union minister of health JP Nadda said on Tuesday that there was no need to panic and that the situation was under control.

“Our surveillance is very robust, all such cases get detected. We’ve standard protocols. ICMR, National Centre for Disease Control and DGHS are monitoring this. I assure people that everything is under control. There’s no need to panic,” Nadda said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Veenu Gupta told reporters in Jaipur that 29 persons have been tested positive for Zika virus in the city and efforts are on to contain the spread of the virus.

She said several Health Department teams conducted household surveys in Shastri Nagar area, where fogging was done besides taking up other measures for the vector control.

The officer said blood samples of 450 people, including 168 pregnant women were taken for examining the presence of Zika virus and 29 of them were tested positive.

She also said the Centre’s Vector Borne Disease Control Programme team was presently in Jaipur to monitor the situation.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the Union health ministry for a report on the Zika outbreak after 29 people tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause birth defects in unborn babies, in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur.

The Union health ministry, in a statement on Monday, confirmed the Zika cases in Jaipur so far through the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) surveillance system.

The Centre’s expert team has been monitoring the situation and assisting in containment operations in Rajasthan since 5 October.

On Sunday, the Centre also sounded an alert for Bihar after a man from Siwan, studying in Jaipur, tested positive for the Zika virus.

Bihar has issued advisories to all its 38 districts to keep a close watch on people showing symptoms similar to Zika virus infection.

The first outbreak in India was reported in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad in January and February 2017 and the second in July 2017 from Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu. Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management.

The disease continues to be on the surveillance radar of the Union health ministry although it is no longer a public health emergency of international concern as per the World Health Organization’s 18 November 2016, notification.