Zika stings Jaipur as cases rise to 50

Zika virus 18 more people test positive in Rajasthan total number of infected persons now 50

The Aedes mosquito which causes the Zika infection | microbiologybytes Flickr

This development comes few days after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) sought a comprehensive report from the Health Ministry on the outbreak of Zika virus after 29 people were tested positive in Rajasthan's Jaipur.

The figure was issued by the department after a review meeting chaired by the additional chief secretary (medical and health) Veenu Gupta.

"Forty-five out of the total 60 patients are healthy after treatment", the official said after the meeting where measures required to contain the situation were discussed. The virus was found by a team headed by National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) in some mosquitoes. A health department official said that with the help of the district collector and administration of Rajput Hostel in the city's Sindhi Camp area, where four Zika-positive cases have been reported, facilities for food and filling of examination forms have been put in place.

The state health department has adviced pregnant women not to stay/visit Shastri Nagar, where the first incident was reported and where the samples of the mosquito were found. The health department also asked pregnant women staying outside Shastri Nagar not to visit the area. A control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control and the number of monitoring teams in Jaipur has been increased from 50 to 170.

This is the third Zika outbreak in India, with the first in the western city of Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in July 2017 - both of which were "successfully contained", the government said last week. The symptoms of the infection are tantamount to dengue and include high fever than 102 degrees, itching on the skin, headache among others. 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.

The disease is under surveillance of the Union Health Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under WHO notification since November 18, 2016.

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